The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has prepared a draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment to consider a request from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (ECBI) for the development of a resort located in the Town of Vonore, in Monroe County, Tennessee. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is serving as a cooperating agency. The draft Supplemental EA is available for public review and comment through June 18, 2021.
In 2003, the EBCI submitted a request for the conveyance of 40 acres of TVA public land on Tellico Reservoir for use to develop a commercial recreation complex called the “Sequoyah Lodge and Lake Resort.” The properties included in the request were TVA Parcel 94 and a portion of Parcel 95 (as designated in the 2000 Tellico Reservoir Land Management Plan), located just southwest of the Niles Ferry Bridge over the Tellico River. The EBCI also submitted an associated request for approval under Section 26a of the TVA Act to construct water use facilities and to install riprap for shoreline stabilization.
In 2004, TVA completed an EA to review the potential impacts of the proposed action and issued a finding of no significant impact. Although TVA granted the easement and issued a Section 26a permit at the time, the project was not completed. In 2020, the EBCI submitted revised plans for the development, which would be renamed “Cherokee Outdoor Resort by the Smokies.”
TVA is supplementing its 2004 EA to consider the potential impacts of the revised proposal. The revised EBCI proposal analyzed in the draft Supplemental EA would affect approximately 35 acres of land and would include RV-camping facilities, rental cabins, a visitor clubhouse, swimming and beach facilities, and water-based amenities, including an inflatable playground placed in the reservoir. Shoreline stabilization is also proposed.
TVA invites the public to comment on the draft Supplemental EA. Comments must be received or postmarked no later than June 18, 2021. Any comments received, including names and addresses, will become part of the administrative record and will be available for public inspection.
Written comments should be sent to Matthew Higdon. Contact information is found below.
More information on this environmental review can be obtained from: