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Fontana Reservoir

Fontana Reservoir Land Management Plan

Reservoir Land Management Plans (RLMPs) effectively guide land use approvals, private water use facility permitting, and resource management decisions on TVA-managed public land.

Fontana Reservoir is one of nine tributary reservoirs included in the Mountain RLMP project, which was approved by the TVA Board of Directors in November 2009.

Fontana Reservoir is an impoundment of the Little Tennessee River formed by Fontana Dam, which is located at Little Tennessee River mile 61.0. Fontana Reservoir is situated in Graham and Swain counties in North Carolina.

Fontana is the highest dam east of the Rocky Mountains. Hikers on the Appalachian Trail, which extends over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine, stop to admire the view from atop Fontana Dam. Fishing, boating and swimming are all popular at Fontana, but it is perhaps most appreciated by wilderness hikers and campers.


The scope of the Fontana RLMP is 931 acres of the 6,273 total acres of TVA public land in the Mountain RLMP. Fontana Reservoir property is divided into 46 parcels, and each parcel is assigned a single land use allocation zone. Descriptions of the allowable land uses within each land planning zone are available here.

Mountain Reservoirs Land Management Plan


Use the GIS Viewer Map to find individual parcels and land use allocations for TVA reservoir property.  Click on individual parcels to find out more information about a piece of TVA property.  Please note that parcel descriptions are included in the interactive map viewer for convenience, but may have been altered from the original description due to character length restrictions.  Please reference the appropriate Reservoir Land Management Plan for the complete parcel descriptions.  Also, please note that parcel descriptions are representative of the time in which the plans were written; some information may be out of date such as available facilities or names of commercial operations.

Download Map (PDF)

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How to Use the Viewer Map (PDF)

Allocation Changes

After approval of an RLMP by TVA, all future uses of TVA public lands on that reservoir must then be consistent with the allocations within the RLMP. In accordance with TVA policies and guidelines, allocation changes are only allowable under limited circumstances. The attachment at the link below describes the land use allocation changes that have occurred on Fontana Reservoir since the 2009 Mountain RLMP was completed.

Allocation Changes (PDF)

Land Allocation Acreage

TVA land around Fontana Reservoir has been allocated for certain land uses as summarized in the table below.

Allocation Designation*


Zone 2

Project Operations


Zone 3

Sensitive Resource Management


Zone 4

Natural Resource Conservation


Zone 5



Zone 6

Developed Recreation


Zone 7

Shoreline Access




*Zone 1 is Non-TVA Shoreland with TVA land rights and does not change as a result of the lands planning process.

Environmental Review

TVA’s land planning methodology incorporates the environmental review process established under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA requires federal agencies to consider the effects of their proposed projects on the human and natural environment before final decisions are made.

Mountain Reservoirs Environmental Review

It is important to note that RLMPs are programmatic plans that designate potential allowable land uses as defined in the land use zone definitions and do not involve specific land actions. TVA would complete an appropriate site-specific environmental review prior to proposed development or activity on TVA public land.