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Land Between the Lakes

Land Between the Lakes

Frank E. Smith
Introduction by Roderick Nash
Copyright Date: 1971
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Land Between the Lakes
    Book Description:

    Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area lies in western Kentucky and Tennessee, between two huge lakes formed by dams on the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers.Some 170,000 acres bounded by 300 miles of shoreline, Land Between the Lakes is blessed with a rich variety of plant and animal life. Conceived and administrated by the Tennessee Valley Authority, it is a unique recreational experiment which has drawn admiring visitors from around the world.

    Frank E. Smith, director of TVA, tells the story of the transformation of submarginal land into a large-scale, multiple-use recreation facility that provides recreation and entertainment for thousands of visitors as well as producing a positive, dynamic stimulus to the continued economic development of the entire Tennessee Valley. Planned for fullest use of human and land resources, Land Between the Lakes is of utmost importance to recreational planners, conservation specialists, administrators, and to millions of Americans who seek their recreation in the out of doors.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-6459-5
    Subjects: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Introduction by Roderick Nash
    (pp. vii-xii)

    If a large snake crawled in front of you right now—right as you read these words—your reaction would almost certainly be one of instinctive terror and hostility. You would scream, run, look for a stick, pick up a rock—probably all at the same time. And you would be in good company. Most Americans suffer from an environmental bias that makes snakes objects of fear rather than of wonder and curiosity. The hatred of snakes, and the list might well be expanded to include spiders, hawks, wolves, and skunks, has two main sources. One stems from an overdose...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
    Frank E. Smith
  5. Chapter One Space for All the People
    (pp. 1-8)

    America needs more open space and open air for the recreation needs of its growing population. The varieties of space needed range from vest-pocket, quarter-acre green swards in the cities to vast wilderness areas in the mountains. The vest-pockets can be built on the site of condemned, deserted buildings, and upon occasion the land may be donated by public-spirited individuals or business firms. Most of the space, however, will have to be bought and paid for by some level of government. Quite often—and more often in the future than m the past—the process will require purchase by condemnation....

  6. Chapter Two Land between the Rivers
    (pp. 9-20)

    The two great lakes of western Kentucky and Tennessee are man-made, but before them there were the rivers. Nowhere in the United States do two major rivers come so close together without joining. Geologists have no certain answer to the curious physiognomy of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. but they agree that some shift in the earth’s formations, perhaps during the glacial periods, helped produce the erratic course of these rivers which help the mother Ohio connect Appalachia with mid-America.

    The Tennessee and Cumberland rise in the same general area of the Appalachian range, near the eastern boundaries of the...

  7. Chapter Three War between the Rivers
    (pp. 21-32)

    Trigg County’s elected representatives favored secession and attended Kentucky’s pro-secession convention at nearby Russellville in November 1861. The Russellville convention, presided over by former Congressman Henry C. Burnett of Trigg County, was called after Kentucky had failed to secede through the action of the regular state government. Two Eddyville delegates from the recently created county of Lyon also favored secession and helped set up the rump state government which supported the Confederacy.

    Farther south in Tennessee there is no clear-cut evidence to show a difference in secession sentiment for those who lived between the rivers and those east of the...

  8. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  9. Chapter Four A Century of Hard Times
    (pp. 33-42)

    During the war there were intermittent efforts to operate some of the iron furnaces between the rivers, but the area had to adjust to a marginal agricultural existence throughout the war. Since cotton had never been an important crop between the rivers, there was little opportunity to profit from sale of this contraband for shipment north, as was the case with former Confederate farmers a little farther south. Many characteristics of the frontier still remained as the nation began to adjust to changes which had come with or been brought to emphasis by the Civil War.

    One of the postwar...

  10. Chapter Five Land Between the Lakes
    (pp. 43-52)

    The first funds for the construction of Barkley Dam were appropriated by Congress in 1955, but delays in appropriations were to hold up its completion for a full ten years. As the work progressed, however, people began to think about a program to use fully the new project in conjunction with nearby Kentucky Dam and Lake.

    There was no great problem of coordination for the operation of the dams and locks. A canal across the narrow neck between the rivers, just south of the town of Grand Rivers, would connect the two lakes, which would be maintained by the Tennessee...

  11. Chapter Six Plans to Reality
    (pp. 53-60)

    The flexibility provided by the original TVA Act gave the Tennessee Valley Authority both the freedom and the responsibility to put into action the plan for Land Between the Lakes. TVA’s experience in relocating families and communities before building dams would prove invaluable in the relocation program essential for a man-made and man-restored recreation area. The one inescapable hardship was the fact that family homesteads of many generations would have to give way to a new public purpose. Every effort would have to be made to soften this blow for these people. Schools, businesses, churches, lodges, and various other institutions...

  12. Chapter Seven Innovations
    (pp. 61-76)

    Translation of the original concept into a program of family camping has continued since 1964, despite many pressures created by high land costs and other demands on the federal budget. The family campgrounds in Land Between the Lakes offer innovations that continue to draw many plaudits and few complaints.

    These innovations include:

    1. A method of operation that basically treats a campground as a motel. Campsites, like motel rooms, are “a home away from home”—one’s private castle during the period of his occupancy. Roads, paths, toilets, beaches, launching ramps, playfields, amphitheaters, hiking trails, and all activities within the campground...

  13. Chapter Eight Wildlife Management
    (pp. 77-83)

    There is a long history of close cooperation between TVA and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. In fact, in the 1940s TVA had conveyed to the Service for use as a part of Kentucky Woodlands several thousand acres of land acquired in connection with Kentucky Reservoir. Refuge boundaries have long been shown on all plans for recreation development of Kentucky Reservoir, for they enclosed many miles of its most scenic lakeshore. Walter Gresh, former director of the Southeastern Region of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, was the first person outside TVA with whom TVA staff discussed...

  14. Chapter Nine Conservation Education
    (pp. 84-88)

    Land Between the Lakes hopes to provide even the most casual visitor with at least a five-minute exposure to some new conservation idea. Every visit of whatever length should provide the visitor with a quality experience, one that involves him in the out-of-doors. In Land Between the Lakes TVA sees “a unique outdoor classroom and laboratory for those who like to lace their outdoor recreation pursuits with an educational flavor, an area to which people will be invited to come and do as well as to come and look; where the urban dweller can renew and maintain his contact with...

  15. Chapter Ten From Private to Public Ownership
    (pp. 89-103)

    Viewing the physical characteristics of the land between the rivers and the economic uses to which it was being put, it appeared at the outset that the purchase of property for the Land Between the Lakes demonstration would offer fewer difficulties than TVA had experienced in many earlier reservoir acquisitions. The area to be purchased from private owners. would amount to some 100,000 acres. Within the area lived 949 families, or one family for each 103 acres on the average. The section was sparsely settled, by any definition.

    The incomes of by far the greatest proportion of resident families were...

  16. Chapter Eleven The Natural Environment
    (pp. 104-119)

    Land Between the Lakes has a great abundance and variety of plant and animal life. Without this plant and animal life that is so often taken for granted, TVA’s goal of serving the recreational and conservation education needs of millions of Americans could never be realized. In the last century much of the hardwood forest between the rivers was exploited for timber and charcoal production, and by the turn of the twentieth century many of the wildlife species in the area had been wiped out or reduced to dangerously low levels. The graceful white-tailed deer was completely exterminated, and the...

  17. Chapter Twelve Into the Future
    (pp. 120-124)

    Flexibility to meet changing needs will continue to be the major hallmark of TVA’s plans for the continued development of Land Between the Lakes. Plans to accommodate an increasing number of campers and day visitors have been prepared in varying degrees of completeness and will be put into effect as funds become available. These represent the most pressing need in terms of immediate service to the public to alleviate the present conditions where thousands of visitors may have to be turned away throughout the vacation months. But even the most rudimentary of these facilities will be modified to offer improvements...