Local businessmen established the Smith Mountain Lake Association in 1969. The organization was more of a business council that wished to establish a beneficial link between the lake’s recreational opportunities and the neophyte business community. But by 1970 SMLA’s focus shifted to environmental protection and community life issues – very similar to the environmental shift observed around our country. With linking to the local economy still in the forefront, SMLA focused on ensuring the lake remained an attractive place to live, work and visit. The Smith Mountain Lake Association currently is the largest and oldest volunteer organization on the Lake with over 1,100 members who support their resources and dedicate their time to ensure Smith Mountain Lake not only survives the pressures of growth, but also improves the Lake’s environmental quality as time marches on.