Vegetation Removal Update

Future plans for Boone Lake Vegetation Management

During a recent meeting between TVA management, Boone Lake Association, local
government officials and congressional representatives, a presentation was given by
TVA senior leadership and local Boone Lake Dam restoration/repair project managers
detailing an updated plan for management of the lake bottom growth and expected
large and small floating debris that will be a navigation hazard as the lake level is raised
somewhat and fluctuated next year for testing prior to normal operations in 2022. TVA
announced that in addition to the mulching/clearing project that has been going on since
last year and expanded significantly this year, they have proceeded with an herbicide
spraying project to stunt the growth of vegetation in some areas inaccessible by their
equipment.

The most significant addition to the plan was that they plan on using work
boats/barges to access areas as the lake rises where they can use boat based cutting
tools to take down growth that will interfere with safe navigation. This material is to be
grappled onto barges for disposal. This method appears to clear some hurdles for TVA,
in particular avoiding work on unsafe terrain and being denied access across private
property.

Along with the vegetation issue there is expected to be a massive amount of
debris—wood and trash—set afloat by the rising water. Then there will be the large
structures—neglected docks and boats etc. that will create danger. TVA says they will
help us deal with this with their industrial sized equipment for a year following return to
normal operations; however they sent a reminder to property owners: it is the
responsibility of the property owner to clear and clean the lake bottom if they
expect a certain appearance and it is necessary to repair your docks, structures
and bottom bound boats before they become a hazard or eyesore to other lake
users. The timing for this needs to be this fall because when testing starts soon
after the first of the year, it is unlikely that the water level will return to as low as it
is now.

It was emphasized that TVA intends to do this job right for the many of us concerned
with the clearing of access to certain coves and other commonly navigated areas, and
are committed to returning the lake to what would reasonably be considered pre-draw
down conditions. Continue to check the TVA website for Boone Lake related information
and in particular how to contact Dan Widener about the possibility of TVA cutting your
lake bottom overgrowth.

You can also contact the Boone Lake Association by Messenger, by email at
boonelakeassociation@gmail.com or by calling our hotline at 423-360-5057.
 
Jon Wireman
2020 BLA President

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