[at-l] Smoky back country fees

RockDancer rockdancer97 at comcast.net
Mon Feb 13 20:28:54 CST 2012


Here's a NP Traveler article about the "elephant in the room" issue of fees
for backcountry use in the Smokies. For those who don't know: the creation
of GSMNP is unique among the national parks, a large amount of the purchase
price for the land was generated by numerous public donations, including
pennies from schoolchildren, with the supplemental $5 M amount coming from
John D. Rockefeller in memory of his wife, Laura Spellman Rockefeller. As
compensation to TN and NC it was promised that there would never be an
entrance fee for the public. That promise may be coming to an end.

 

http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2012/02/great-smoky-mountains-national-
park-looking-backcountry-user-fee-improve-services-protect-resources9454

 

The article is long and detailed and includes a couple of comments regarding
thru-hikers in the discussion and comments:

"Another issue is how to deal with Appalachian Trail thru-hikers, a
gypsy-like group of backpackers accustomed to traveling at their own pace,
with a willingness to speed up, slow down, or layover when the desire and
need strikes. How they would reserve campsites for specific dates could be
problematic, the superintendent acknowledged."

 

And 

 

"Well, there is that rush of people (thru-hikers) when they start out in
Georgia and they start hitting us, usually in April, and how do we manage
those numbers and how do we identify them?" said the superintendent.

 

I think I like being called "gypsy-like"!

Arthur D. Gaudet

RockDancer on the Appalachian Trail

Rockdancer97 at comcast.net

 

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