BACKCOUNTRY TAX FEEASCO the unedited and uncensored edition

Our original Backcountry Tax blog on the gosmokies site was moderated by some folks who held an opinion in favor of backcountry fees.  As a result the blog operator, Jigsha Desai made several threats to shut us down but we remained in operation because it was the most popular blog post in the history of that site.  We decided to take our conversation to a place where our message wouldn't be suppressed.  This blog is the result.

Therefore, it is our collective opinion that the Backcountry Fee Proposal put out By Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson and backcountry specialist Melissa Cobern is an egregious reach into the pockets of taxpaying citizens. 

A prominent study proves that access fees restrict use of National Park and forest lands. http://www.westernslopenofee.org/pdfuploads/Fee_Policy_White_Paper.pdf

The primary justification of the backcountry fee proposal made by park administration is campsite overcrowding which was proven false.  Click here for details and statistics to prove this fallacy for exactly what it is.  A federal fee grab.

Park management cozies up to the horse lobby but proposes a tax on  backpackers who are the best citizens of the Great Smoky Mountains.  In fact, Ditmanson recently signed off on a new horse concession smack dab in the middle of Cades Cove.

Recreation.gov is touted as a solution for reservation problems in the backcountry office but this Canadian based company is frought with problems.  72 hour reservations are required for the empty Smokies campsites you will be paying for the privilege of using.  Forget spontaneous weekend outings with the family.  Better pull out the wallet, you are going to pay just to talk to them.

This is not about money for any of us.  We love the Smokies and actually get out there and know the lies being spread by the Sugarlands swashbucklers.  It is a matter of deciding what type of National Park you want.  Should boy scout groups and single mothers and twenty somethings be discouraged from nature because of trumped up justifications for more rangers?  We think not.  Help us stop this double taxation now.  One fee will result in another.  We must make a stand.

(picture courtesy Kittzy Benzar, Western Slope No fee coalition)

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Comment by John Quillen on March 13, 2017 at 9:49pm

Thanks Morgan County Commission for passing this tonight.

Comment by John Quillen on March 12, 2017 at 7:10pm

I probably wouldn't pay $35 to hear Clay Jordan.  On that day, I hope to be on a train from Paris to Chamonix.

Comment by Myers Morton on March 12, 2017 at 6:45pm

John, are you going to the symposium with me?

Comment by Myers Morton on March 12, 2017 at 6:43pm

Rest assured.  Justice Wade will not spin anything.

Comment by John Quillen on March 12, 2017 at 10:01am

Gary Wade is on the board of Friends of the Smokies.  And he is heading up a group who is going to hold a symposium about the wildfire along with Jack McElroy from the News Sentinel and Dollywood representatives.

Sounds like a big spin machine ahead of the official reports to me.  http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/local/tennessee/gatlinburg/2017/...

Comment by John Quillen on March 9, 2017 at 8:58am
On Monday night I will return to Morgan County to be present as they vote to pass our resolution condemning backcountry fees in the state of Tennessee. I also asked them to request their state representatives to propose legislation stopping future backpacking fees throughout the state. If anyone wants to go and speak, the commission is very amenable to our support. It will be at 7 pm at the courthouse in Wartburg. If you cannot attend, consider emailing rep John Window or Sen. Ken Yager. They are the ones we are hitting up to write this legislation.
Comment by John Quillen on March 1, 2017 at 3:03pm

This is a comment posted on NPT regarding the solar eclipse fee scheme of Ca$h's making.  Isn't this telling? I wonder how many Blackberry Farms, Walk in the Woods and other Concessionaire businesses had the pre ticket lock?

http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2017/02/great-smoky-mountains-...

I was prepared and online prior to the 10:00 AM opening for tickets to Clingmans DOme.  At 10:00 I put all pertinent information online and as I was preparing to enter my credit card number I am told all tickets sold.  How is that possible if they only started selling at 10:00 AM.  I am very disappointed about this. 

Comment by Jo Jackson - Neuspickel on March 1, 2017 at 10:41am

Just changed my Amazon to SFW!

Comment by Dustin M on February 28, 2017 at 9:44pm

I will bookmark the link! 

Comment by John Quillen on February 28, 2017 at 9:42pm

If you want to support SFW, then consider using this link to make your Amazon purchases.  We are now part of the charitable donations program and .5% of your Amazon purchases will go to support Southern Forest Watch if you use this link.  And trust me, we NEED money.   It will not add to your purchase price when you use Amazon.  Here is the link. https://smile.amazon.com/ch/46-1509528

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