The 1982 Park General Management Plan (GMP) calls for all structures in Elkmont to be removed at the close of private leases that ended in 1992 and four separate lease agreements in 2001.

In 1994, Elkmont was listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places thus affording the district special status and new consideration regarding the GMP. The Park and Tennessee Historic Commission discussed several options regarding future management of Elkmont between 1994 and 1999, but failed to come to an agreement.

A renewed planning process was reinitiated in 2000 by Park planners to develop a management plan for the Elkmont Historic District (EHD) that follows guidelines in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The results of this study will enable Park management to effectively make a decision at the close of this planning process.

Environmental Compliance was begun initially as an Environmental Assessment (EA), but elevated to an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in spring 2003 when it was recognized that a successful management strategy could not be selected until a more detailed investigation was undertaken. An EA and EIS follow an almost identical process, but an EIS is more comprehensive and detailed than an EA. This decision was made due to the sensitivity of resources and the growing controversial nature of this project.

The following steps outline the history of the planning process and how it will proceed until the anticipated completion of this project in 2009.

* indicates the current step in the planning process
Step 1. Initiate Project
Step 2. Public Scoping for Initial Data Gathering & Issue Identification
Step 3. Preliminary Resources Inventory & Analysis
Step 4. Conduct Public Meetings to Solicit Feedback for Possible Uses within the Historic District
Step 5. Develop Preliminary Resource Management Alternatives
Step 6. Conduct Public Meetings to Solicit Feedback on Preliminary Alternatives
Step 7. Refine Alternatives
Step 8. Identify Environmental Impacts and Select Preferred Alternative
Step 9. Publish Draft Environmental Impact Statement
Step 10. Conduct Public Meetings to Present Report Findings
Step 11. Analyze Public Comments
Step 12. Memorandum of Agreement signed between the Park, Tennessee State Historic Preservation Officer & Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
Step 13. Prepare Final Environmental Impact Statement
Step 14. Publish Final Environmental Impact Statement
Step 15. Record of Decision published for the future management of Elkmont *

The Record of Decision for the future management of the Elkmont Historic District was signed June 30, 2009 and published in the Federal Register December 16, 2009. Implementation planning and activities are currently underway.