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)Follow @SoForestWatch
Looks like old Cash and crew are getting a dose from Gatlinburg fire officials. As they should. Remember, Cash was a firefighter with the Forest Service, I believe, prior to his stint at Smokies.
I wonder if Leconte Lodge guests are similarly forbidden from the "backcountry".
Dustin you very well might be right! I sure hope not but.........
I dunno how we're going to pay for a $2 Trillion stimulus , let alone a $25 Trillion national debt.
Might be big cuts coming down the pike. The NPS might be one of the first. Will this be the trigger that creates the fee?
Wow!!! I am having a hard time wrapping my head around all this! I work at a car dealership in the parts dept and yesterday our company laid off 90% of my coworkers! Yes since I am the parts manager I get to stay! It has been like a ghost town here for the past week almost! Stay safe everyone!
They just closed the entire Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Including the backcountry.
Just released from the Park:
Effective immediately, backcountry campers and A.T. thru-hikers with reservations at one of the park’s 15 backcountry shelters are authorized to use a tent outside the shelter to provide for social distancing.
Did you all read John's post on February 18, 2020?
SFW is in the process of proving....again....that they have a hard time with being truthful with numbers...ie...FOIA requests for their bogus numbers....
Will keep you updated.
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