News of the legal challenge to the NPS decision to implement changes to the backcountry usage rules appears on the surface to be a good thing. Unfortunately, a detailed reading of the letter submitted by legal counsel for Southern Forest Watch shows a "shotgun" approach to the argument against those changes. I feel that many of the arguments listed in counsel's letter to the NPS were trivial and poorly structured. The overall impact of this legal challenge is significantly weakened by this shotgun approach.
Wouldn't it be more effective to focus the legal challenge on the strongest issues and leave most of the trivial issues on the sideline?
Background: I'm one of the many Smokies hikers who submitted written comments to the NPS during the public comment period provided for the proposed backcountry user fee system. I was not confident that my comments would even be seriously considered by NPS management but, nonetheless, gave considerable thought and effort to the process of creating what I thought were detailed, comprehensive replies to all of the items listed by the NPS as problems and potential solutions to the "backcountry camping problem". The end result of this proposed rule change process appears to have turned-out like so many other NPS service proposed rule changes: Changes originally proposed were passed with few, if any, changes--in spite of a plethora of public comments contrary to the original proposal(s).