Interview with Truitt Fore, April 26, 2017

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:02 - Being hired at TVA

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Partial Transcript: The following is an oral history interview conducted as part of the Tennessee Valley Authority Retirees Association Oral History Pilot Project.

Segment Synopsis: Fore discusses how he was hired at the TVA, as well as his educational background.

Keywords: Bachelor of Science; Colleges; Forestry; Hiring; Job offers; TVA recruiters; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Subjects: Athens (Ga.); Chattanooga (Tenn.); Education; Forest management; Forests; Georgia; Norris (Tenn.); Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority; University of Georgia; Work

00:01:58 - First job at TVA

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Partial Transcript: So, you got there and, uh, what was your first assignment, do you remember?

Segment Synopsis: Fore recalls his first job at the TVA, within the Division of Forestry Development, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Keywords: Companies; Division of Forestry Development; Eroded lands; Erosion control; Field offices; Forestry; Idle lands; Improved forest practices; Lands; Middle Tennessee; Planting; Tennessee Valley; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); West Georgia

Subjects: Chattanooga (Tenn.); Erosion; Forest management; Forests; Georgia; History; Tennessee Valley Authority; Trees; UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources; Watershed management

00:05:06 - Work in Paris, Tennessee office

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Partial Transcript: I had an assignment in Norris for a little over a year, and then I went to Paris.

Segment Synopsis: Fore discusses his assignment and duties at the TVA office in Norris, Tennessee before moving to the Paris, Tennessee office.

Keywords: Beech River (Tenn.); Beech River Project; Division of Forestry; Erosion control; Flood storage; Flooding; Forestry; Properties; Severe erosion; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

Subjects: Dams; Erosion; Forests; Lakes; Norris (Tenn.); Paris (Tenn.); Recreation; Reforestation; Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority; Water supply; Water--Storage

00:07:09 - Nature of first assignment

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Partial Transcript: I see, well, let's jump back to your first assignment.

Segment Synopsis: Fore elaborates upon the conditions that he found in his first TVA forestry job in the Chattanooga area.

Keywords: Accomplishment; Active projects; Best practices; Demonstration; Division of Forestry; Forest harvesting; Forest interest groups; Forestry; Happy; Idle land; Improving forest activities; Land owners; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Tree cover; Watershed organizations

Subjects: Chattanooga (Tenn.); Example; Forests; Interest; Nurseries; Reforestation; Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority

00:10:11 - Job in Norris, Tennessee

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Partial Transcript: My next assignment went to the branch office, uh--the forester field branch office in Norris.

Segment Synopsis: Fore details the nature of his work in the TVA Division of Forestry office in Norris, Tennessee.

Keywords: "Plant trees, grow jobs"; Branch office; Difficult; Division of Forestry; Established; Field office; Fire protection units; Forestry; Growing trees; Slogan; Tennessee Valley; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

Subjects: Brochures; Data; Fire prevention; Forests; Harvest; Job creation; Logging; Lumber; Money; Norris (Tenn.); Paper industry; Promotions; Public relations; Records; Reforestation; Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority; Timber; Time; Trees

00:13:26 - Beech River Project

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Partial Transcript: After that, uh, relatively short--short, uh, assignment, you went to Paris.

Segment Synopsis: Fore talks of his work in the Division of Forestry office in Paris, Tennessee. Specifically, Fore details his work on the Beech River Project during this time.

Keywords: Assignment; Beech River (Tenn.); Beech River Project; Good forest practices; Southwest Kentucky; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Tree planting; Western Tennessee

Subjects: Forests; Kentucky; Paris (Tenn.); Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority; Trees

00:15:14 - Work at the Southern District Division of Reservoir Properties

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Partial Transcript: What happened after that?

Segment Synopsis: Fore characterizes his work at the Southern District Division of Reservoir Properties in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Keywords: Bids; Encroachments; Forestry; Hardwood timber; Health & Safety Branch; Job announcement; Land use section; Mud creek; New land; Properties; Salvage sales; Selective sales; Southern District of Reservoir Properties; Supervisors; Surveillance; TVA Land; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Timber land management; Timber sales; Volumes; Wilson Dam (Tenn.)

Subjects: Alabama; Boundaries; Forest management; Forests; Guntersville Lake (Ala. and Tenn.); Harvest; Mississippi; Money; Muscle Shoals (Ala.); Nickajack Dam (Tenn.); Pickwick Dam (Tenn.); Pines; Reservoirs; Tennessee; Tennessee River; Tennessee Valley Authority; Timber

00:21:29 - Mosquito control / Beaver control

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Partial Transcript: Let's take--well, we'll start with the last, uh, vector control, mosquito control.

Segment Synopsis: Fore details the processes by which the TVA managed mosquito populations on its lands. The relationship between beaver dams and mosquito control is also mentioned.

Keywords: Beaver control; Collection points; Crews; Division of Reservoir Properties; Helicopters; Herbicide; Mosquito habitats; Mowing; Perforated pipe; Recommendations; Remedies; Results; Shorelines; Southern District Division of Reservoir Properties; Spraying programs; Standing water; Symposiums; TVA lands; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Variety; Vector

Subjects: Alligators; Beavers; Dams; Dynamite; Louisiana; Louisiana State University; Mosquitoes; Responsibility; Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority; Water

00:25:13 - Property surveillance and rental / Recreation land use

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Partial Transcript: I think another thing you mentioned was surveillance of, uh, TVA property.

Segment Synopsis: Fore considers the role of the Southern District Division of Reservoir Properties in property surveillance of TVA lands. Fore also briefly talks of the use of former TVA-owned lands as public recreation sites.

Keywords: Agricultural land; Bids; Colleagues; Encroachments; Illegal; Land; Land rental; Land use; Land use agents; Management bases; Open lands; Pasture; Personnel; Property; Property surveillance; Recreation sites; Rules; Southern District Division of Reservoir Properties; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Violations

Subjects: Camping; Decatur (Ala.); Geography; Guntersville Lake (Ala. and Tenn.); Hay; Location; Muscle Shoals (Ala.); Recreation; Rent; Reservoirs; Symposium; Tasks; Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority; Timber

00:30:14 - Industrial development of TVA-owned lands

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Partial Transcript: What about industrial development, did you have to deal with any of that in the mid-sixties?

Segment Synopsis: Fore briefly illustrates how much industrial development of its lands TVA allowed during the 1960s.

Keywords: Agreement; Approval; Coordination; Industrial Development; Lease; License; Process; Property use; Proposal; Recommendation; Request; Sale; Shoreline; Southern District Division of Reservoir Properties; TVA Board of Directors; TVA lands; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Use

Subjects: Administration; Learning; Reservoirs; Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority

00:32:07 - Section 26a regulations

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Partial Transcript: And you know, one thing that I haven't mentioned up to this point was the administration of the requirements of section 26a of the TVA Act.

Segment Synopsis: Fore explains how the Southern District Division of Reservoir Properties worked to keep the regulations of section 26a of the Tennessee Valley Authority Act of 1933 intact when transferring over lands to private owners.

Keywords: Approval; Coordination; Eligible; Guntersville Lake (Ala. and Tenn.); Land rights; Plans; Properties; Qualifications; Requests; Review; Southern District Division of Reservoir Properties; TVA lands; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Tennessee Valley Authority Act of 1933

Subjects: Flood control; Muscle Shoals (Ala.); Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority; Water

00:34:26 - Mid-career development program

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Partial Transcript: Um, during the time that I was in Muscle Shoals, um, I was chosen to--for a mid-career development program.

Segment Synopsis: Fore details his experience in a mid-career development program for federal workers in which he spent a year taking courses at Stanford University.

Keywords: Activities; Broaden horizons; Coursework; Different; Exposure; Family; Federal agencies; Office; Open access; Public affairs; Sheltered; Southeast; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); University

Subjects: Career; Experience; Fellowship; Muscle Shoals (Ala.); Opportunity; Palo Alto (Calif.); Stanford University; Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority

00:36:47 - Work in Athens, Tennessee

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Partial Transcript: And, uh, it wasn't long then till they moved me on elsewhere.

Segment Synopsis: Fore discusses his work in the TVA Central District Division of Reservoir Properties in Athens, Tennessee.

Keywords: Acreage; Assistant Manager of Properties; Central District Division of Reservoir Properties; Chickamauga Dam (Tenn.); Encroachment; Land ownership; Problems; Properties; Relocation; Reservation; Supervisor of Land Use Section; Tellico project; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Tributary area

Subjects: Athens (Tenn.); Blue Ridge (Ga.); Boundaries; Dams; Fort Loudoun Lake (Tenn.); Georgia; Nickajack Dam; North Carolina; Reservoirs; Responsibility; Tennessee; Tennessee River; Tennessee Valley Authority; Tennessee Valley Authority Act of 1933

00:40:06 - Tellico Project

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Partial Transcript: Explain to me what the Tellico Project was.

Segment Synopsis: Fore chronicles his experience and involvement in the Tellico Dam controversy.

Keywords: Agreement; Beech River Watershed (Tenn.); Buying property; Construction; Controversy; Development Agency; Displacement; Drainage; Fort Loudoun Dam (Tenn.); Improvement; Influence; Inland; Lake; Main reservoir; New management; Organizations; TVA Plan; Tellico Project; Tennessee Valley; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Tributaries; Tributary Area Development; Uses

Subjects: Administration; Bear Creek (Ala. and Miss.); Elk River (Tenn. and Ala.); Reservoirs; Tellico Dam (Tenn.); Tennessee; Tennessee River; Tennessee Valley Authority

00:43:41 - Tellico and land acquisition

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Partial Transcript: Well, let's go back to Tellico then and what your work was.

Segment Synopsis: Fore links the Tellico project with land acquisition efforts that the TVA undertook.

Keywords: Development agreement; Development standards; Forest clearing; Intense; Land acquisition; Ownership; Properties; Property management; Relocation; TVA Board; TVA Organizations; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Timber sales; Tributary Area

Subjects: Forests; Reservoirs; Tellico Dam (Tenn.); Tellico River (N.C. and Tenn.); Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority; Timber

00:46:07 - Politics in Division of Reservoir Properties

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Partial Transcript: Now what else--what are--any other memories about, uh, working in the central district?

Segment Synopsis: Fore examines the political dynamics of his positions in the Division of Reservoir Properties of the TVA.

Keywords: Activity; Central District Division of Reservoir Properties; Congressional referral letters; Constituents; Controlling; Different; Inquiry; Lands; Politics; Property owners; Response; Similar; TVA agencies; Tennessee Valley; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Uncooperative; Vector control

Subjects: Alabama; Conflicts; Cooperation; Employees; Experience; Facts; Memories; Pressure; Reservoirs; Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority; Time

00:50:36 - Division Office of Reservoir Properties

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Partial Transcript: I was recruited onto the Division Office of Reservoir Properties in Knoxville.

Segment Synopsis: Fore's time spent working in the Division Office of Reservoir Properties in Knoxville is explored.

Keywords: Access; Approval; Assistant Director; Conflicts; Division Office of Reservoir Properties; Illegal; Joint processing activity; Perspectives; Policies; Problems; Property Administration Section; Property District Manager; Supervisors; TVA lands; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Tennessee Valley Authority Act of 1933; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Subjects: Administration; Cooperation; Employees; Jurisdiction; Knoxville (Tenn.); Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority

00:53:13 - TVA construction

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Partial Transcript: Uh, one thing that, uh, I want--I just happen to know about, and it has to do with the fact that TVA reservoirs and dams were built at different points in time.

Segment Synopsis: Fore establishes the rules, regulations, and methods that the TVA frequently used to acquire land from property holders for TVA use. Some of the practices that the TVA undertook when there were adjacent private landowners to TVA lands are also mentioned.

Keywords: Adjacent land owners; Confusing; Elevations; Flowage; Issues; Land owners; Land tracts; Maintain ownership; Methods; Politics; Reservoir easements; TVA limitations; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

Subjects: Dams; Flood control; Floods; Fort Loudoun (Tenn. : Fort); Knoxville (Tenn.); Land titles; Norris Lake (Tenn.); Property; Reservoirs; Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority; Time

00:56:49 - TVA lands

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Partial Transcript: How much property--abou--did TVA own in acreage?

Segment Synopsis: Fore details TVA's landholdings in terms of acreage. Fore also explains the process by which TVA lands were transferred over to state and county ownership to create areas of recreation. TVA's monitoring of correct land use by state and country governments is described.

Keywords: Above water; Acreage; Activities; County parks; Dwight Eisenhower; Flowage easement; Monitored; Private ownership; Property management; Public interest; Restrictions; Services; Shoreline Properties; Sold; State parks; TVA lands; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Transfer agreements; Violations

Subjects: Knoxville (Tenn.); Property; Recreation; Reservoirs; Tennessee; Tennessee River; Tennessee Valley Authority

01:00:40 - Congressional referrals / Change in jobs

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Partial Transcript: Anything else you would like to say about your position then when you got to Knoxville in, uh, property?

Segment Synopsis: Fore briefly talks of the process of congressional referrals. Fore then discusses the end of his career at the TVA, and the positions that he held up until his retirement.

Keywords: Board approval; Congressional referrals; Field operations; Guidance; Land activities; Land function; Land management; Land uses; Office of Natural Resources; Oversight; Paperwork; Problems; Property Management District; Property Management Districts; Reorganization; Reservation; Supervisor of Operations; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

Subjects: Dams; Knoxville (Tenn.); Maintenance; Manager; Norris (Tenn.); Retirement; Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority; Time; Transfer; Work

01:06:15 - Changes to TVA

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Partial Transcript: So, the--the--the nature of your work...

Segment Synopsis: Fore characterizes the changes that occurred to the TVA during the end of his career.

Keywords: Gone; Lands; Marvin Runyon; Personnel; Private sector; Property Management District Offices; Property maintenance; Public interest management; Reorganizations; Responsibilities; S. David Freeman; Shifting philosophies; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Tributary Area Development

Subjects: Change; Downsizing of organizations; Philosophies; Public interest; Retirement; Supervisors; Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority

01:10:46 - Memories of TVA / Significance of his work

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Partial Transcript: In looking at--back at it all, uh, are there any, uh, most memorable experiences?

Segment Synopsis: Fore shares some of his most impactful memories from working at the TVA. Fore also considers the significance of his work in land management.

Keywords: Bureau of Reclamation; Central District Division of Properties; Different; Forestry; Fun; Impression; Land use management; National Parks Service; Public land management; Southern District Division of Properties; TVA agencies; TVA lands; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Transition

Subjects: Learning; Memories; Philosophies; Reservoirs; Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority; Work

01:12:51 - Final thoughts on TVA

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Partial Transcript: Um, are there any questions that I have not asked that you wish I had?

Segment Synopsis: Fore reveals his final thoughts on TVA structural changes, and summarizes his career and the good and bad points of his tenure at TVA.

Keywords: Activities; Dick Freeman; Enjoyable; Environmental legislation; Environmental movement; Environmental review; Harvesting timber; Hostile; Land management; Lands planning; Property management; Proposed land use; Public comment; Regulations; Reservoir lands; S. David Freeman; Southern District Division of Reservoir Properties; TVA lands; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Variety

Subjects: Administration; Career; Experience; Good; Legacy; Norris (Tenn.); Planning; Reservoirs; Society; Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority; Timber