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Natural Resource Plan Watauga

Natural Resource Plan

TVA’s Natural Resource Plan (NRP) guides TVA’s management of the public lands and waters within its power service area and the Tennessee River watershed.

In May 2020, the TVA Board of Directors adopted changes to the NRP to support a more strategic, flexible, and comprehensive management approach to TVA’s natural and cultural resource stewardship work. On July 9, 2020, TVA published its Record of Decision to complete its environmental review process.


TVA is unique among power generators in that it was created to not only empower the economic aspects of the Southeastern United States but also to protect and improve the natural resources of the Tennessee Valley region. Today the results of TVA’s efforts are apparent in the abundant natural resources in the region and the opportunities they afford.

TVA completed its 2011 Natural Resource Plan to guide its natural resource stewardship efforts over the following twenty years, to be reviewed and updated as needed. The 2011 NRP addressed TVA’s management of biological, cultural, and water resources; recreation; reservoir lands planning; and public engagement. The plan integrated the goals of these resource areas, provided for the optimum public benefit, and balanced sometimes conflicting resource uses. For the 2020 update, TVA held meetings around the Tennessee Valley and hosted a webinar to provide information to the public and solicit feedback. TVA considered the input in completing the final NRP and SEIS. The final SEIS includes responses to public comments in an appendix.

Focus Areas

Learn more about each of the ten focus areas in the 2020 Natural Resource Plan.

Reservoir Lands Planning

TVA’s integrated resource management approach focuses on balancing flood control, navigation, power generation, water quality, recreation and other land use needs. Reservoir lands planning is one of the important tools TVA uses to accomplish this balanced management.
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Section 26a Permitting & Land Use Agreements

The land and reservoir resources that fall under the care of TVA include a 41,000 square mile watershed, 293,000 acres of reservoir land, 11,000 miles of reservoir shoreline and thousands of miles of off-reservoir streams and rivers that span a seven-state region.
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Public Land Protection

TVA public land provides many benefits to the people of the Tennessee Valley. We work to prevent abuse and destruction of this land and to take necessary steps to remedy unauthorized uses and encroachments, as well as to engage and educate the public.
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Land & Habitat Stewardship

TVA manages its forestlands, grasslands, wetlands and wildlife and their habitats in a holistic manner. Stewardship on public lands provides valuable habitat for wildlife and can provide recreational opportunities, including hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and biking.
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Nuisance & Invasive Species Management

TVA has a long history of managing nuisance and invasive species, which have damaging effects on infrastructure, the economy and recreation. Such efforts have evolved over the past few decades to meet new challenges and to continue to address legacy issues.
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Cultural Resource Management

As a federal agency, TVA is responsible for identifying, managing and protecting cultural resources on its property or affected by its actions. These include historic structures and objects, archaeological resources, Native American burials and sacred items and other historic resources.
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Water Resources Stewardship

TVA's focus, as steward of the Tennessee River and its tributaries, is on protecting and improving the quality of streams, rivers and reservoirs in that watershed. From its original emphasis on dam and reservoir construction, TVA’s unique role and value to the region continue to evolve.
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TVA reservoirs and the land surrounding them offer an abundance of recreation opportunities, including boating, water skiing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, sailing, windsurfing, swimming, fishing, hunting, hiking, nature photography, picnicking, bird-watching and camping.
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TVA continues its mission of resource stewardship and economic development by building partnerships that support local, state, and regional tourism especially nature-based, outdoor adventure and sustainable activities.
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Public Outreach & Information

TVA connects with communities and visitors to increase awareness and appreciation of the natural and cultural resources in the Tennessee Valley through environmental education, building collaborative partnerships and providing opportunities to volunteer.
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