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have been very willing to pay that on the provision that those funds are staying at LBL and improving the hunting experience that they will have in the future.
So after saying that, I would be willing to answer any questions you might have, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Bond follows:)
Bill J. Bond, Manager
Tenne 88ee Valley Authority
before the Subcommittee on Public Lands, Reserved Water and Resource Conservation
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
United States Senate
June 27, 1985
I am pleased to appear before you today on behalf of the Tennessee Valley
Authority to discuss the Administration's recreation fee recommendations,
our current recreation fee arrangements (which are established on the
statutory authority of the TVA Act of 1933, and the Land and Water
Conservation Fund Act), and the desirability of further legislation in
Accompanying me are Philip McKnelly, Chief of Land Between
The Lakes Recreation Program, and Robert Marker, Project Manager of
TVA's Reservoir Recreation Project.
Since its inception, TVA has encouraged the development of high
quality outdoor recreation opportunities in the Tennessee Valley.
As a part of this effort, TVA has built and operates a variety of public
recreational facilities around the reservoir system.
manages 139 reservoir recreation areas, including 34 campgrounds, 60 boat
ramps, 32 day-use areas, and 13 informal areas, across the Valley.
TVA is also responsible for Land Between The Lakes (LBL), a 170,000-acre
outdoor recreation and demonstration facility with over 300 miles of
undisturbed shoreline that is located in westem Kentucky and Tennessee.
At LBL the traditional recreation opportunities, such as picnicking,
camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing, are enhanced by TVA sponsored
educational programs and facilities.
LBL's informal educational
activities include a living history farm, planetarium, nature center, and
contemporary small farm.
Each is designed to help LBL's two million
visitors better understand natural and cultural history and how their
activities can impact water, wildlife, and entire ecosystems.
sponsors formal leadership training, environmental education, and
recreation programs at its resident camps and also provides teacher
training and program development for instructors of handicapped children
and adults, gifted children, and others.
LBL offered more than 6, 200
programs to over 250,000 participants from all 50 states in fiscal year
TVA began collecting recreation use fees in 1965.
User fees are
established under authority of the TVA Act of 1933 and are consistent
with the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, as amended.
TVA is among
seven Federal land managing agencies that participate in the Federal
Recreation Fee Program and Interagency Fee Task Force.
This task force
is responsible for ensuring that recreation use fees are comparable with
those established by other public agencies and private sector operations
providing similar services and facilities within the region. For
example, TVA reviews public and private sector camping fees in the
Tennessee Valley each year to determine comparability, and TVA fees are
ad justed accordingly.
Currently, recreational use fees are collected at 34 campgrounds on TVA
reservoirs and at 6 fee campgrounds and group camps in LBL.
permits are also sold for hunting in LBL.
In 1984, TVA collected
$831,000 in fee revenues from the following sources.
In 1984, fee and nonfee reservoir recreation facility operation and
maintenance costs were approximately $2.8 million, while fees totaled
$171,000 (6 percent). At LBL, fee and nonfee operation and maintenance
costs in 1984 were $7,606,000, and fee revenue totaled $661,000 (8.7
percent). Even though TVA recreation fee collection is significant, it
could be increased by charging fees for use of basic access facilities,
visitor centers, and day-use areas.
These nonfee facilities are where
major visitor use now occurs, and we believe the public finds them
sufficiently attractive to accept a fee for their use.
We are pleased that the Administration recommends expanding the
discretionary authority of Federal agencies managing outdoor recreation
facilities to charge admission and user fees to help defray the cost of
providing Federal recreation benefits.
We support this principle and
think that the availability of high-quality outdoor recreation areas could
be enhanced if reasonable plans for users to pay a fair share of the costs
could be developed.
TVA supports increasing the discretionary authority of Federal agencies to
establish admission or user fees at outdoor recreational facilities.
However, the extent to which the cost of outdoor recreation programs may
be defrayed through fees may vary from agency to agency and, perhaps,
among various recreation facilities managed by the same agency.
example, LBL's three family campgrounds charge $6, plus $1 for
electricity, per site.
Fees collected at these campgrounds currently
cover approximately 61 percent of their operation and maintenance costs.
In 1985 TVA established a hunter use fee at LBL of $10 for adults and $5
for juniors and seniors.
We are anticipating revenues sufficient to cover
30 percent of our wildlife management activities and programs, wildlife
habitat development, and hunter services activities.
In addition, LBL
group camp fees currently cover 46 percent of costs.
There are some types
of TVA facilities, such as boat ramps, trails, and picnic areas, where
fees would probably generate revenues covering only a small fraction of
their operation and maintenance costs.
Among such facilities, it is
unlikely that 25 percent of their operation and maintenance costs could be
collected through fees.
In fact, it would probably not be feasible to
establish use fees at some of these areas due to prohibitive collection
We also believe that establishment of entrance fees at TVA recreation
areas would not be practical. For example, at LBL we do not have
control of all entrance roads, nor can we monitor or control lake
Further, the cost of collection would in all likelihood exceed