WNCFly--One of my Grandpa Joe's favorite sayings was: "A man's got to have some secrets." For years I harbored such secrets when it came to trout streams--lots of them--and there are still some places outside the Park, mostly speck streams, I will not write about. They are just too fragile to take the pressure.
However, after a lot of soul-searching, I decided that if I was going to write what I hoped would be something approaching the definitive work on fishing in the Park, anything short of completeness would not work. Also, I realized that with very few exceptions the truly special places in the Park, Three Forks being among them, have their own built-in protection never mind whether they are written about or not.
That protection takes the form of difficult of access. How many people are willing to exert the energy and effort to reach Three Forks? or upper Jonas Creek? or Defeat and Desolation Branches? or the Left Fork of Deep Creek? or Ledge Creek? or Straight Fork above the "million dollar bridge"?or any of dozens of others? The answer is precious few, and therein lies the protection of such places and their salvation.
Beyond that, I had to consider the element of selfishness. I just turned 68 years old and have to recognize, whether I like it or not (and I don't) that I'm not as "catty" as I once was and that getting back of beyond is much more of a challenge for me than it used to be. Yet why should I deny others the joys I've known not just for years but for decades? All of this posed for me, and will continue to pose for others, a huge conundrum with no easy or complete answer.
Obviously I made my decision and will stick with it, hoping as I do so that the simple fact of writing about remote places will strike a fine balance between concern for and love of such places and realization that I have opened the door to them at least a bit.
Hopefully this rather lengthy answer will give you some insight into my thinking process. Of course I would love to hear other regulars on this forum who have lots of decades in the Smokies behind them weigh in on the matter.
All of these thoughts coursed through my mind as I worked on this book,