Adam--You have me totally confused when you suggest the signs are above the confluence. If so, this has happened since this summer and would mean that the section of Luftee which has the Visitor Center on one side and Park housing on the otgher side was controlled by the tribe. I don't think this is the case and if it is, it's an outrage. I'm almost positive the situation is as I state--Luftee from the Park line up to the confluence of Raven Fork is now tribal water. Above that Luftee is Park water and Raven Fork (for many miles until the next Park boundary at the lower end of the "Gorges," is tribal water. I checked the tribal web site and it isn't a bit of help because they talk about water upstream from where the Parkway crosses Raven Fork. Only problem is, it doesn't cross Raven Fork. That stream "loses" its name when it joins Luftee a few hundred yards above the bridge. It's enough to make one wonder whether either tribal leaders or Park officials know the geography of their own backyard. In the case of the latter, I'm afraid that the answer is all too often "no." I've asked questions at visitors centers at both Luftee and Sugarlands numerous times, and not just of volunteers but of Park employees, and seldom do they know the answers. Mind you, I guess you could call me a smarty pants for asking questions for which I know the answer, but if they are dealing with the public they should know.
Examples? Where are there graveyards near Luftee Visitor Center? There are a whole bunch of them and last summer a collective brain trust of six Park folks knew of exactly one. How did Road Prong get its name? Answer was because it runs along Highway 441, which is, of course, incorrect. That's Walker Camp Prong. Where could I find information about fishing in the Park? (self-serving here because I wanted to see if they had my book on display). Answer, I'm not sure, but didn't we used to have some books on that and I believe we have a fishing regulations brochure. Maybe I'm asking too much but that seems to me to be pretty straightforward stuff.
When it comes to the backcountry, outside of Steve Moore and Matt, forget it. Today's rangers don't get into the backcountry.