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 Dana Koogler on Thursday

I think we need to purchase one and take it to Washington and flush a great many of these fee collectors/fee pushers.... and send 'em on a free 'vacation". My treat!  ;^D 

Comment by John Quillen on Thursday

that's hilarious, Dana.  I can think of some bureaucrats that need to get on top of one of those "portal" toilets at Tri-Corner, aka the most remote location in the Southeastern United States.

Comment by Dana Koogler on Thursday

Oy.  It makes me tired reading this latest thing about the Apostle Islands Ice Caves.  Do people honestly not edit their writing?   Instead of mentioning "portable toilets" they have a special kind of "portal" toilets.  No wonder they are charging so much per person.  I should say so.  A portal toilet must flush you clear into another dimension.  Now hell, if the Great Smoky Mountains National Park had those... I can think of several times in my life I could have used one of those and would have gladly forked over the $5 per person.  I'd have paid them $5 per person to flush the three heifers in the next stall changing out of they wet bathing suits into the next dimension through the portal.  $15 to see them disappear! :-D  Yeah.

Comment by Tom Johnson on Thursday

Interesting that autos/motorcycles would be charged higher fees than people entering on foot.  I can't help but think that was influenced by SFW repeated illustrations of backcountry/front country fee inequity at GSMNP.

Comment by John Quillen on Thursday
Comment by Dana Koogler on October 7, 2014 at 3:58pm

Interesting and hopeful!  Thanks for sharing this John. 

Comment by John Quillen on October 7, 2014 at 3:31pm
Comment by John Quillen on October 7, 2014 at 10:58am
she was a spawm and I deleted her. Sorry folks. every now and again somebody slips through
Comment by Mike Thorpe on October 7, 2014 at 10:55am

Thanks for the heads-up Donna. I have not received any such message or email, but will be sure to delete it if I do.

Mike

Comment by Donna Davis on October 7, 2014 at 10:45am

Folks, don't know if you have received the following message via email, but my husband and I both received it. Do not open it. Maybe John can block the address from which it originated.

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