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View Full Version : Backing the Backpackers (Free Stuff plus $4 for S&H)


JoeFred
03-11-2012, 09:42 AM
Removed comments 5/5

MadisonBoats
03-11-2012, 10:00 AM
Good idea and nice initiative to raise awareness and to inform!:smile:

Jim Casada
03-11-2012, 07:10 PM
Fred--I have fought against this boondoggle tooth and nail and probably have at least 200 hours time in it. I was one of four people who put together a petition of protest (we garnered over 500 signatures in a very short time--the Park only had a 30 day comment period and they changed that in mid-stream). [The Park Service], in what I consider a disgraceful approach, dismissed it and one other petition as nothing more. [They] didn't both to let the public know that the comments on the matter ran 19 to 1 against the fees. Nor [have they] been truthful with the public.
I would not, without indisputable evidence, accuse [them] of deceit. Yet that is precisely what has happened. The whole argument for fees was predicated on an "overcrowded" backcountry when in truth camping is down dramatically since peak years in the mid-1990s. Likewise, those who said there were constant complaints of abuses in the backcountry were blowing smoke. As I've said elsewhere on the forum, a FOIA request, seemingly the only way to get to the truth with Ditmanson, revealed precisely 15 complaints in three years. The majority of them dealt with issues other than camping.
Bully for you for doing this, and rest assured my efforts, and those of others, will not stop. I am deeply disappointed and disgusted with Park leadership, and I know thousands of others are as well. It is abundantly manifest that the views of those who love the Park and are some of its finest advocates mean nothing. We were ignored, but the fight is not over.
Incidentally, although I haven't personally confirmed this, several people have contacted me and indicated that my book on fishing in the Park has suddenly disappeared from the shelves of Park visitor centers. If so, I guess I'm paying the price for saying what I think. If that's the case, so be it.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

JoeFred
03-11-2012, 10:16 PM
Removed comments 5/5.

JF

MadisonBoats
03-12-2012, 09:33 AM
Fred--I have fought against this boondoggle tooth and nail and probably have at least 200 hours time in it. I was one of four people who put together a petition of protest (we garnered over 500 signatures in a very short time--the Park only had a 30 day comment period and they changed that in mid-stream). [The Park Service], in what I consider a disgraceful approach, dismissed it and one other petition as nothing more. [They] didn't both to let the public know that the comments on the matter ran 19 to 1 against the fees. Nor [have they] been truthful with the public.
I would not, without indisputable evidence, accuse [them] of deceit. Yet that is precisely what has happened. The whole argument for fees was predicated on an "overcrowded" backcountry when in truth camping is down dramatically since peak years in the mid-1990s. Likewise, those who said there were constant complaints of abuses in the backcountry were blowing smoke. As I've said elsewhere on the forum, a FOIA request, seemingly the only way to get to the truth with Ditmanson, revealed precisely 15 complaints in three years. The majority of them dealt with issues other than camping.
Bully for you for doing this, and rest assured my efforts, and those of others, will not stop. I am deeply disappointed and disgusted with Park leadership, and I know thousands of others are as well. It is abundantly manifest that the views of those who love the Park and are some of its finest advocates mean nothing. We were ignored, but the fight is not over.
Incidentally, although I haven't personally confirmed this, several people have contacted me and indicated that my book on fishing in the Park has suddenly disappeared from the shelves of Park visitor centers. If so, I guess I'm paying the price for saying what I think. If that's the case, so be it.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Jim,
Keep you head up! If you are not seeing the results you desire at the moment; I can assure you that you are informing and educating others. I believe that the GSMP Officials could have addressed your response and those of others in a professionally and tactfully manner. If their idea is justified in their mind; then, they could cordially explain and illustrate it to the public. Also; they should welcome the insight of the public voice and address it respectfully. It bothers me that they would remove your book out of bureaucratic and political motives.:mad:

I decided my offer announced in Post #1 to help with backcountry trips and raise awareness was not such a good idea after all. My apologies to everyone.

I so need to go fishin' :smile:
JF

Joe, at-least you tried and put it out there...No one ever gets anywhere without giving it a good go...I respect that...!

Crockett
03-12-2012, 11:26 AM
I think the park could have gone a long way in easing frustration about this by doing a few simple common sense things like:

Having an annual pass available for people who use the backcountry a lot like many locals do.
Making backcountry camping free for kids

Obviously things like that are kind of common sense and sad that they didn't use much of that. I was hiking down the Long Hungry Ridge trail yesterday and very near the top I ran into a couple backpacking with their 4 young kids up to Gregorys Bald. The adults were worn out but the small kids saw us coming down the trail and were excitedly asking us "Whats it like up there?". I couldn't help but think about how this fee would affect folks like that.

tnflyfisher
03-12-2012, 12:17 PM
Incidentally, although I haven't personally confirmed this, several people have contacted me and indicated that my book on fishing in the Park has suddenly disappeared from the shelves of Park visitor centers. If so, I guess I'm paying the price for saying what I think. If that's the case, so be it.

Now why do I not find this surprising... :rolleyes:
Typical schoolyard bully behavior if you ask me.

Mr. Casada, I fully intend to buy a copy of your book on my next trip to the park. If nothing else, hopefully it will help offset someone who might have made a purchase at a park visitor center.
Just trying to do my part... ;)

Tight Lines,

Jim Casada
03-14-2012, 01:23 PM
Shawn and Tnflyfisher--Thanks for your supportive comments. I think most if not all of this brouhaha about fees could have been avoided had Park leadership simply shown common sense and sat down with concerned parties and stakeholders prior to ever broaching the concept (then arbitrarily ramming it down the public's throat never mind widespread opposition). I know that I personally would have traveled to a meeting to exchange views, air concerns, and seek a consensus. Apparently the Park doesn't want to do this, because as others have noted, the so-called public meetings for comment were a sham.
On a related matter, the only real problems with crowding come on trail shelters (they don't impact anglers much if at all). Yet I just today learned that a group known as A Walk in the Woods, apparently operating out of Gatlinburg, has 13 three-night trips along the Park portion of the AT scheduled in a 20-week period during the peak of camping activity. This is a for profit operation working in tandem with REI. What this in effect means is that on every trip they removed eight camper spots for that night. Do the math. That translates to 312 camper nights where others are, in effect, shut out of a spot if the site is full (and guess who makes their reservations far in advance?).
I have no problem with fishing outfitters taking small groups into spacious campsites such as Proctor on Hazel Creek, but it simply isn't right for Park licensees to get first dibs, all the while making money, at the expense of the general public. Predictiably, these folks were about the only voices speaking out in favor of the fees. Of cousre they just raise their charges, never mind the impact on locals. It's disgraceful.
Again, thanks for the support, and should Park leaders happen to read this, I stand ready, even eager, to discuss things. Just don't ram them down our throats with false information.
As for removal of my book, if it has been done (and even more folks tell me it has disappeared, well that's just petty. Never mind though, just get it directly from me or from the fine folks at Little River Outfitters who provide us this forum.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Mac
03-14-2012, 02:02 PM
Comments removed.

JoeFred
03-15-2012, 10:52 AM
Removed comments 5/5.

Crockett
03-15-2012, 11:14 PM
Fred thanks for the map offer that is kind of you. Since this is a forum on the Smoky Mountains I think it is kind of given that some people might disagree with decisions made by the park and want to express that on here. If we were only allowed to say good things about the park management then the forum would not be of much account. I want to thank Byron for understanding that and for letting us express ourselves here in a civilized fashion. Maybe the park had no choice. Maybe this was an edict passed down from Washington. That very well could be the case. We will all know the answer to that soon I have been told there has been a Freedom of Information Act filed by a fellow from Morristown to force the park service to reveal all communication between Washington and the Sugarlands concerning the fee. It is good to see people questioning what their government is doing instead of just sitting back and saying "well it's only $4......"

JoeFred
03-16-2012, 06:36 AM
Adam,thanks for all the time you've spent looking into things. JF

Jim Casada
03-16-2012, 12:59 PM
Fred--The battle for the backcountry is by no means over. The edict may have come down from Sugarlands but I for one will not take it lightly. Nor would many others. More FOIA requests are in the works, and the ones already filed have revealed that the whole fee proposal was based on false information.
My greatest fear, and I don't think it is simple paranoia, is that this is a "foot in the door" to start charging Park users for anything and everything.
The argument that other parks charge is misleading, overly simplistic, and most of all, fails to recognize that the Smokies, unlike other national parks, involved extensive use of eminent domain AND not only great sacrifice but great contributions by locals. Guess who gets hurt most by fees? Locals.
It's a downright shame.
Jim Casada

JoeFred
03-17-2012, 07:43 AM
Please share with me (but not here) the name of a highly visable brick and mortar backcountry outfittter specifically in Pigeon Forge and/or Cherokee which might be interested in selling or displaying info about the $4 backcountry stream and trail maps. Please e-mail to info at saintclairmapping dot com.

Thanks!

Byron Begley
03-19-2012, 12:44 PM
Jim's books did not mysteriously disappear from the Visitor Center's book departments. I saw the current inventory today in each store, on their computer system, including what is in the warehouse. In fact, the buyer said she was going to place an order today either e-mail or fax, I can't remember exactly. But, under the circumstances I described, she said she would call the order in. They have not placed their orders for books this year but they are doing it now.

Byron

Jim Casada
03-19-2012, 04:20 PM
Byron is correct. A very nice lady called and placed an order today, although I would note that apparently the book had been out of stock for some time and she acknowledged that was likely the case. Folks had told me as much in a number of phone calls and e-mails, and I had personally checked the shelves at Luftee.

Whatever the exact nature of the situation, it has been rectified, and I'd like to thank Byron and a number of folks who contacted the Visitor Centers on my behalf for getting matters straight. It clearly made a difference, because the woman mentioned Internet "talk" and said that my opposition to the Park's backcountry fees shouldn't make any difference.
I agree, and I'm glad it hasn't (although I did make it clear to her that I would continue to stand in adamant opposition to something I think is terribly wrong.
Again, thanks to all of you who checked and/or expressed concern.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

JoeFred
03-19-2012, 10:09 PM
Removed comments 5/5.

JoeFred
05-05-2012, 03:04 AM
For a limited time, eleven (11) backcountry streams maps (http://www.smokystreams.com/maps) are now available at $4 each with free shipping. We will also have these and other deals at Troutfest. Please stop by and say "Hi".
JF

PS. Sorry for the choice of the original title for this thread. It was necessary to change things up a bit.

Flyrod
05-08-2012, 09:33 PM
Your correct Mr. Casada, the Luftee visitor center had a copy of your book, a friend and I stop by there last Friday so he could get a copy. He had been reading mine and wanted a copy for his self. A young park ranger was helping him (I presume he was a park ranger, he had on a uniform) when my friend ask him about a book on Hazel Creek the young ranger replied "Hazel Creek, thats in Cataloochee?" I could not believe what I heard, I would thing that a Park Ranger would know at least the major streams in the Smokey's. Anyway I really like your book!

Flyrod