Winter land condition assessments help TVA’s Natural Resource group discourage illegal and destructive behavior while planning positive actions that will improve the environment.
Despite bitterly cold temperatures, Natural Resources employees have been conducting winter land condition assessments across the Valley, and they recently achieved a major goal.
“We’re achieving some real milestones,” said Jack Muncy, senior specialist, Reservoir Land Condition. “We’ve assessed over 125,000 acres out of 180,000.“
“We’re making sure we’re out there walking the land, checking boundaries and making ourselves seen—that visibility is discouraging people from doing illegal or destructive things,” he explains. “It speaks directly to our mission of protecting the public lands in our care.”
Discouraging unacceptable uses of TVA land has benefits for everyone, according to Muncy: “When there’s no trash dump and the roads aren’t rutted from ATVs—that’s a nice place you want to take your family.”
Winter land condition assessments are also important because they can reveal land features that might be covered by vegetation in other seasons.
Muncy helped develop the standardized land condition assessment process for TVA, in which employees evaluate resource conditions, check property boundaries, document stewardship needs and then develop prioritized task lists to address those needs, adding everything to a centralized database.
“Overall, our task is to strike a balance between encouraging folks to enjoy the land and making sure its resources are protected,” says Muncy.
Natural Resources senior manager James Adams recently volunteered to go along on an assessment with Muncy. “Jack wore me out,” says Adams. “We spent a long, hard day outside performing assessments on the coldest day of the year! It speaks to how dedicated these employees are to their work.”