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December 2020

Season’s greetings!
You may have already guessed this just from looking out your window, but 2020 was another record-breaking year for rainfall. In fact, it is now officially the wettest year ever recorded in the Tennessee Valley. The “old” record from 2018 (actually not very old!) was broken as of midnight Dec. 14.  TVA has now managed three straight years of record rainfall.

In the River Forecast Center, we’ve stayed on the job the entire time, as have our teams at TVA dams and power plants, of course. You may have seen our staffers who work in the field, marking boundaries, conducting prescribed burns and other activities; Mother Nature doesn’t come to a halt just because of the pandemic.

No matter what the weather might do, this is a wonderful time of year for those who enjoy the brisk air and the solemn beauty of the landscape when it’s cold and quiet outside. If you’re getting restless from being stuck at home, check out our website for some ideas on getting outside for a breath of fresh air.

But remember—do it safely!  We urge you, as always, to comply with all safety directives, and do not congregate in public areas. Please enjoy TVA-managed land, trails and lakes only while practicing guidelines for social distancing.

Have a wonderful holiday season and you’ll hear from us again in February.    
David Bowling
Vice President, River & Resources Stewardship

Another 2020 first: it’s the wettest year on record in the Valley
As of midnight, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, TVA recorded 68.27 inches on average across the Valley, surpassing the old record of 67.01 inches set in 2018.  With 2019 now the third wettest year on record at 66.47 inches of rainfall, TVA has now managed three straight years of record rainfall.

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.

Fly fishing is the cool thing to do
Who would have guessed that old-fashioned fly fishing would captivate a whole new generation? But it’s true: the Zen-like practice is attracting millennials by the boatload.

Here’s our 2020 report card—and our plans for 2021!
TVA is not just a power provider—part of its core mission is environmental stewardship. In our Natural Resources Year-end Report and Stewardship Book, you’ll find a comprehensive list of projects both planned and completed. Find the ones close to you.

New Year hiking inspiration
If you made a resolution to get more exercise, what better day to start than January 1? Here’s how to have fun and stay safe while starting off 2020 with a walk in the woods.

While you’re hiking, keep an eye out for one of these
Winter is prime time for TVA staffers to walk public land boundaries and make sure they’re marked. You might spot one of these special markers while enjoying TVA’s public lands.

A better nesting place for some big birds
Nesting birds and electricity don’t mix, so TVA is taking a proactive approach to relocating ospreys in order to protect both the birds and our power structures. Ospreys are federally protected birds of prey and can create enormous nests.

How do you know if you need a permit from TVA? Start here
If you were asked, “What is Section 26a permitting?” on a television game show, would you know the answer? In the Tennessee Valley, this permitting process serves as a vital link between TVA and property owners on the Tennessee River.
Recycle that Christmas tree the right way
It’s a great idea to recycle your live Christmas tree, but don’t just chuck it into one of our reservoirs! There’s a right way and a wrong way to safely and effectively dispose of it.
One Bee at a Time
Douglas Dam Reservation in Sevier County, Tennessee, is the location of a new 10-acre pollinator habitat. It’s part of TVA’s efforts to encourage and preserve pollinators like bees and butterflies.

The Wayback Machine
TVA’s agriculture industry demonstration program involved the use of experimental fertilizers. As part of this work, fertilizer trials in western North Carolina showed significant improvements in the quality of Christmas trees being grown for commercial markets. In fact, in 1971 a Fraser fir from an Avery County, NC, tree farm was chosen to deck the halls of the White House. (Photo: White Pine trees on Christmas tree farm in Avery County, North Carolina, 1969)

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 online.

Road closings? Bridge repairs? Stay informed
For the latest notices, check out TVA new and announcements.
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
KnoxvilleTN 37902