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Old 08-04-2010, 01:23 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 992

Trip--While that approach is used in many parks, it won't happen in the Smokies. Part of the agreement when the Park was created (and unlike many out West it involved a great deal of land seizure) was that it would always be free to the people. Trying to change that would create a huge firestorm, and it is worth noting that thousands of mountain people, during an extraordinarily rough time in our country's economic history, donated pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters to help make the Park a reality. Their donation, of course, is dwarfed by the sacrifice made by people who actually lived in the Park.
Don't get me wrong, it's creation was a wonderful development, one from which everyone on this forum benefits. But as someone with roots in the area (my father grew up in the Park), I also know just how deeply the sense of injustice runs. Anyone who doubts this needs to read Hattie Caldwell Davis's writings on Cataloochee. There was literally wailing and gnashing of teeth when a preacher, trying to stave off a flat-out rebellion against the government, told folks they would have to leave all they loved, cherished, and had worked for over the generations.
So your proposal, while seemingly a logical one on the surface, would fly directly in the face of history and government promises.
Of course, cynic that I undoubtedly am, I would note that the government has broken promises before.
Jim Casada
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