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August 2021
Greetings, River Neighbors:
I’m very happy to meet you. I’m Rebecca Hayden and I am the new director of TVA’s Natural Resources Group. It’s an honor to be highlighted here.

 I am stepping into the shoes of Frank “Bucky” Edmondson, who has moved into an advisor role at TVA. Bucky is a legend at TVA and I’m sure many of you have met him over his many years on the job. With events hopefully starting up again, I look forward to getting out there and meeting you when the opportunity arises.

I’m new to this role, but not new to TVA. I started here as an intern 20 years ago, and it’s been a wonderful journey ever since. My stewardship roles have included senior manager of Recreation and Shoreline Management working with customers and community leaders on permitting and land use projects; manager of Policy and Project Management setting and implementing natural resources policy; manager of Natural Resources Management East Region assessing and preserving reservoir lands; watershed team supervisor working on land and water projects; and a limnologist responsible for fish tissue monitoring across the Valley. I hold a bachelor’s degree from Murray State University in Kentucky (Go Racers!) and a master’s degree from UT Chattanooga. Outside work, I love to horseback ride and just be outdoors enjoying nature. 

In this role I will be focusing on powerful partnerships to develop and enhance recreation amenities and to promote tourism and recreation opportunities such as Tennessee RiverLine.  Partnerships bring all of us together as neighbors and lovers of the Tennessee River and its beauty.  TVA recognizes the vast and diverse interests in the river system and we appreciate public engagement and input on it. TVA waterways and public lands are magical places, and they are there for all of us to enjoy. Our commitment to maintaining access to recreation means that everyone owns waterfront property!

I hope you’re enjoying the “dog days” of summer—the time when peak temperatures send us in search of cool places to relax. As you visit our dam reservations, stream access sites, and trails such as the Loyston Trail system on Norris Reservoir, please remember to always be aware of your surroundings. Practice Leave No Trace principles and remember: “Take only memories, leave only footprints”. 

Proud to serve the people of the Tennessee Valley for today and tomorrow,
Rebecca Hayden
Director, TVA Natural Resources


New and improved: TVA’s Natural Resources never stops “housekeeping”

Although it seems much of the world was shut down in the past year, TVA’s Natural Resources group was still busy at work for you, repairing and improving recreation areas on our public lands and waters.


Stealing or preserving history?

What if one morning you woke up to find that your great grandmother’s sentimentally priceless china or wedding ring were missing — and were posted for sale on eBay just a few days later? For Karen Brunso, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and citizen of the Native American tribe known as Chickasaw Nation, this is the equivalent of finding, taking and selling a tribal artifact.


New species of ginger found on TVA land

Walking in the deep woods of Alabama, Brian Finzel was planning to capture photos of what he thought was a common plant species…until he examined an unusual bloom in a patch of Hexastylis, commonly known as wild ginger.

Better than plastic: TVA land grows grass for biodegradable bowls, plates

A forward-thinking plan with historic roots is taking shape on Watts Bar Reservoir. TVA Natural Resources and Genera, Inc. are partnering on a project that will produce a trifecta of good outcomes: more diverse plant communities, increased wildlife benefits, and eco-friendly by-products.

Fishing the Valley

If bass is your bag, we’ve got some of the best lakes in the country, including Bassmaster favorites Chickamauga and Guntersville. But if it’s trout you’re after, you’ll find monsters of the species in our mountain streams and the tailwaters below TVA’s dams. Browse through the collection of stories here for the inside line, and get hooked on Valley fishing.

Tennessee Valley Clean Marinas – committed to the environment

On a sunny, summer weekend, a marina can be a happening place, but most Tennessee Valley lake lovers would be surprised by the amount of work that goes into these floating businesses. TVA Natural Resources understands and is committed to promoting environmentally responsible owners who are using best management practices at their marinas and ensuring that best boating practices are being used by their customers.

Celebrate summer’s end with fireworks, watermelon and live tunes

Summer may be winding down and school may be starting up, but there are still plenty of fun-filled happenings across the seven states that make up the Tennessee Valley region.

Tennessee RiverLine’s Summer of Firsts

It’s been a summer of firsts for the Tennessee RiverLine. “Our events calendar has exploded with first-time paddle and stewardship opportunities hosted by Tennessee RiverTowns communities in Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee,” say Brad Collett, UT associate professor and Tennessee RiverLine director.
Using the river as a catalyst for economic development, public health, and environmental stewardship, this TVA partner is working to develop the country’s next, great regional trail system.
The valley’s paddling season stretches into October, so there’s still time to get on the water. No kayak? No worries, they have extras. Find upcoming events at Tennessee RiverLine events calendar.

What Can You Learn at Camp-Right Campgrounds?

August may be known as back-to-school time, but did you know you can get an education while camping, too? Camp-Right Campgrounds offer learning activities as part of their TVA certification. Look to your campground hosts for fun opportunities to discover more about nature. This may include interpretive signage, fireside chats, coloring sheets, scavenger hunts, star parties, informative labels for native plants and more. Have an idea for a program or activity? Tell your Camp-Right Campground host.

Did you know you can check our lake levels with an app?

Get the most up-to-date information on each reservoir TVA manages, including today’s levels, predicted elevations, planned generation releases at the dams, reservoir operating guides, ecological health ratings, fish population survey results, recreation facilities and more.

The Wayback Machine

Ah, summertime! TVA’s lakes are great places for all kinds of boating. This family enjoys sailboating on Kentucky Reservoir in August, 1966.


Explore with the Tennessee River Valley MapGuide
Looking for new places to explore by foot, car or boat? Check out the Tennessee River Valley MapGuide. There are plenty of things to see and do close to home.

Got a question? Pick the PLIC
TVA’s Public Land Information Center (PLIC) is your single source for answers to questions about a variety of public land topics including recreational opportunities and shoreline permits. Call (800) 882-5263 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET or submit your question using the form found here.

Ongoing maintenance:
Keep up with road closings, bridge repairs, all kinds of things here:

See past issues of River Neighbors here.

Boone Dam Project
We publish this newsletter to keep TVA's stakeholders informed about the programs and projects associated with TVA’s environmental stewardship, recreation and river management efforts.

Our mailing address is:
Tennessee Valley Authority
400 West Summit Hill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37902

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