[at-l] Smoky back country fees

Martha Federle mgypsy97 at aol.com
Mon Feb 13 20:35:12 CST 2012

I love being called Gypsy and always have.



-----Original Message-----
From: RockDancer <rockdancer97 at comcast.net>
To: at-l <at-l at backcountry.net>
Sent: Mon, Feb 13, 2012 6:28 pm
Subject: [at-l] Smoky back country fees

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.
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.”
“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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