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.

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. 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 Dustin M yesterday

I vote media, if we are taking votes 

Comment by John Quillen yesterday


Do we need to send a letter to Ca$h asking him about why they are allowing this reclamation of land?  Or should we just notify certain media outlets like with the Blackberry Farm Massacre?

Comment by John Quillen yesterday
Comment by Myers Morton on Monday

Presently, there may be certain private landowners bordering the park quietly reasserting ownership of property previously lost to the park 8 decades ago (minus 1 year for inverse condemnation) ......with no pushback from the National Park Service....just like that former governor did it.

Comment by Dustin M on Monday

Lots of money

Comment by John Quillen on Monday

Nice.  We need to include this with your totals too.

I also ran across this and almost lost my dinner.

Comment by Dustin M on Monday

In 2014 looks like it was 18.5 Million

Comment by Dustin M on Monday

In 2008 it was 17.2 Million plus 1.5 Million in Omnibus Bill Support. 

Comment by John Quillen on Monday

No problem, Dustin.  If someone can wrangle the Smokies budget numbers for me, we can make a similar chart.

Comment by Dustin M on Monday

Too late

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