Frequently Asked Questions

WHY DO YOU CALL YOURSELVES "CONCEPT ZERO TASK FORCE"?

ARE YOU A BUNCH OF RADICALS? Apparently so. We are insisting that the government keep its promises and that TVA/LBL not be allowed to abandon its mission. In this day and age that stance is apparently quite radical.

ARE YOU A BUNCH OF RADICAL "GREENIES"? When LBL offered their now infamous "five preliminary concepts", a part of the obvious, but unspoken, agenda was to get people with differing views to fight each other rather than fight TVA/LBL. Consequently, we started with a core group including business persons, local politicians, teachers, former residents of the land between the rivers, and tree huggers. We certainly do not all fit any one stereotype, but we are proud of the fact that we would rather see our environment become greener than grayer.

WHEN YOU SPEAK OF THE MISSION OF LBL; JUST EXACTLY WHAT DO YOU MEAN? Recently LBL has tried more than once to change the wording of its mission; failing that, they have chosen to ignore those components of the mission which they find least convenient. Ironically, we unstintingly support the LBL mission as quoted in their "five preliminary concepts" booklet last year:

"To manage the resources of Land Between the Lakes (LBL) for optimum yield of outdoor recreation and environmental education for the American people. In so doing, to utilize our demonstration assignment to research, test, and demonstrate innovative programs to help stimulate development in the surrounding region, and to extend the beneficial results as widely as possible."

WHEN YOU REFER TO "THE PROMISES" WHAT DO YOU MEAN? When it became clear that special legislation which would have created LBL under the jurisdiction of the Park Service was not going to get through Congress, President Kennedy and his advisors decided to rely instead on the 1933 TVA Act, which included an "all-purpose clause" intended o pave the way for TVA to "research, test, and demonstrate" innovative programs. Congress had been circumvented in the creation of LBL, but the funds for the development of LBL had to be appropriated by Congress. In order to make a convincing argument that LBL was justified, the TVA Board Chairman promised that LBL would be unique in that it would remain "undeveloped". Specifically he stated that, within LBL, there would be no occupied residences, and no commercialization from the past, or in the future. Since these two promises formed the basis for the use of eminent domain to force the people from their land, it carried, and still carries, an adamant moral obligation.

DO YOU REALLY EXPECT OUR GOVERNMENT TO KEEP ITS PROMISES?
We are not all at the same point on the political spectrum, but we agree with the Supreme Court decision stating "It is not the task of the government to keep the citizen from error, it is the task of the citizen to keep the government from error."

HOW HAS LBL FAILED TO FULFILL ITS MISSION? In its early days, LBL made a bona fide effort to find innovative ways to fulfill the mission. At that time, its greatest failure was in not realizing the importance of the "research, test, and demonstrate" phrasing in all that they were supposed to be doing. More recently, however, they have actually abandoned much of the mission; thus compounding their failing to fulfill it. For example, they are currently commercializing LBL, going into direct, and unfair, competition with private (and state) businesses in the surrounding region.

THE DEBATE ABOUT LBL INVOLVES SOME UNFAMILIAR TERMS; DO YOU HAVE A GLOSSARY? Why, yes.

GLOSSARY: [please note: "LBLD" = LBL's definition of the term]

SURROUNDING REGION: LBLD = the region surrounding the main office at Golden Pond; refer to the mission "stimulate development in the surrounding region".

"SELF-SUFFICIENT": LBLD = exploiting resources belonging to others to support yourself and your agency. By this definition Willy Sutton was self-sufficient.

PEOPLE'S NEEDS: LBLD = what some people said they would find convenient. By this definition, chewing gum, candy bars, silk-screened T-shirts and ice are "needs".

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