Citizens' Declaration of Rededication
to the LBL Promises and Mission

  1. Recognizing that:
    1. The Land Between the Lakes (LBL) is a precious resource that was established by removing the residents, most by force or threat of force, who had held rightful title to the land for many generations, and that this coerced sacrifice is the true price paid for the LBL;
    2. the sole motive given for taking the land was to protect the LBL from the commercial development that would occur as the completion of the reservoir system increased property values;
    3. in order to enhance and ensure the continued undeveloped and pristine condition all "inholdings" (the residents, their churches, farms and businesses) would be removed;
    4. this was done in exchange for the promise that the Land Between the Lakes would remain forever free of commercialization and permanent human habitation; this promise was made in testimony before Congress, to local organizations, to the residents, to the press, etc.;
    5. the Tennesse Valley Authority (TVA) has consistently expressed this promise with the following mission statement: "To manage the resources of Land Between the Lakes 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 the development of the surrounding region; and to extend the beneficial results as widely as possible."
    6. The TVA has violated the promise and mission for the LBL using the pretense of Congressionally imposed monetary constraints;
    7. in the face of public criticism TVA publicly claimed to abandoned its five development/commercialization concepts while continuing to implement elements of those concepts, and in so doing has lost the public trust and squandered the public's monetary and natural resources.

  2. We therefore endorse the following principles:
    1. TVA, with its present unprincipled, unqualified, and unchecked authority, should not be allowed to manage the LBL.
    2. The LBL must be rededicated to its original mission, thereby renewing both the promises made to those whose sacrifice purchased the LBL, AND the promise for the future of the LBL.
    3. The former residents of the LBL must be allowed to continue to pay homage to their former communities; and the restoration, maintenance, and access to all cemeteries within the LBL must be recognized and supported.
    4. An action similar in scope and intent to the action which formed the LBL and which was specified in the justification used for removal of the former residents must be taken. Specifically, the original covenant must be renewed by once again removing, in the spirit of the original LBL mission, all permanent human habitations, and "all vestiges" of commercial development.
    5. Furthermore, this action must entail a rededication to the preservation, research, and environmental education aspects of the mission as the means for stimulating the economy of the surrounding region by creating a more attractive and unique resource for outdoor recreation.

      In sum, with regard to the LBL, we do agree that both the promises from the past, which provide definition and form to the LBL, and the promise for the future, which gives purpose to the LBL, must be renewed, enhanced, and maintained as a covenant between the people and their government.

  3. We thus agree that whatever agency or mechanism Congress entrusts to manage the LBL (whether TVA, National Park System, land trust, endowment fund, etc.) the following components must be in place:
    1. Binding legislation must require that the entrusted agency or mechanism abide by all the above-stated principles and promises.
    2. The promises and the original mission must form the sole template for governance; moreover, the role of management must be solely to implement the mission.
    3. The selling or leasing of any properties within the LBL or the use of any portion of the LBL in a manner inconsistent with the promise and the original mission (for example, for any commercial purpose) must be expressly prohibited.
    4. Reasonable, humane consideration should be given to the longstanding connection of the former residents to LBL, such as restoration and maintenance of access to their cemeteries within the LBL.
    5. A legal device must ensure the ecological integrity of the land and preserve the rights of the former residents and their families to that land should the agency or mechanism entrusted with the duty to manage the LBL fail to adhere to the promises made and/or to the mission of the LBL.

We hereby beseech the Congress of the United States of America to authorize an independent study to determine which mechanism of management can best achieve the above-stated goals; and further, to take the necessary steps to implement the findings of that study by Congressional legislation if need be. The promise to the people from their government must be kept.




If you would like to add your name to the thousands who have already signed in support of the Declaration of Redidication, just download, or print this page. You may return it to: Concept Zero Task Force, P.O. Box 56, Eddyville, Ky. 42038




We, the undersigned, have read the Declaration of Rededication, endorse the principles for management of the LBL contained therein, and ask that the Congress of the United States of America authorize an independent study to determine which mechanism of management can best restore the promises and mission of the LBL, and further, to take the necessary steps to implement the findings of that study.

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