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Old 08-01-2011, 07:39 PM
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benintenn benintenn is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chattanooga
Posts: 53

Its free to enter, drive around the park, day hike, and swim.

Front camping is the park is not free. If I recall correctly, I paid $23/night to stay at Elkmont. Does that not go against what some of you are saying about how the park should be free. Maybe we should get rid of charging people to front country camp too.

Fishing isn't free because you have to buy a license. Lets get rid of that requirement too because everything in the park is supposed to be free.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:59 PM
muskrat muskrat is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern Hoosier state
Posts: 35

When I began researching information for our trip to the smokies I was surprised that no fees were charged for backcountry camping. My widerness camping experiences come from many trips to the Boudary waters canoe area where as long as I've been going there,since '99, fees have been charged.avel anywhere within the wilderness during your stay. There is a $12 fee for reserving a permit and a user fee of $16/adult/trip. This past June we stopped at the Oconalufftee visitor center. While there I decided to ask why no fees were charged. They proceded to give rote answers about when the park was established no fees were to be charged yada yada yada......my response was that you did charge me 20 bucks a nite to stay in the campground ?!?.
I wanted to know who I could contact to suggest that a backcountry fee should be charged.
It was then she realized I wasn't the normal "touron" and we had a very nice conversation and I left with what could best be described as a "Tell us how we are doing form" so my opinions would make it to somebody who would actually read it.
My concern would be that fees collected would be sent away to wherever it is government fees get sent to and be distributed to wherever some washington know nothing decides it's best needed.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:20 PM
Teddyp Teddyp is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Asheville
Posts: 29

I love that the park is free and I can agree with a nominal fee for back country sites. But I think it's a slippery slope and hope they don't start charging for entry. I couldn't even imagine being charged to go in and fish, I would be devastated as much as I fish the park. I just hope if they charge they use the fees as they say and don't start looking for other streams of revenue.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:30 PM
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ChemEAngler ChemEAngler is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Knoxville
Posts: 1,167

Originally Posted by muskrat View Post
My concern would be that fees collected would be sent away to wherever it is government fees get sent to and be distributed to wherever some washington know nothing decides it's best needed.
Therein lies the problem. People want the government to give, give, and give some more. In order for the government to give, they need people in place to determine what and how much to give. And yes, generally the people who determine this are clueless. So now, not only are they giving out money, but they are having to pay somebody to determine where the money goes. Double whammy. Even more money is gone out of the budget.

Humans are a selfish bunch in general. We don't like when we are told what to do, however when you ask somebody to give you something they pretty much reserve the right to tell you what to do with it. We all want more, and we all seem to think our cause is greater than the other guy's.

We can't expect more out of our government with the current situation that it is in. If anything money will be even tighter now than ever before, and some of the privileges that we have grown accustomed to will be under much more scrutiny than ever before. I called it a privilege because it is not technically our "right" to have free admission to parks, only our "freedom" to have access to our national parks.

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Old 08-02-2011, 12:53 PM
Knothead Knothead is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: SE Tennessee
Posts: 644

It is my understanding that the Park is not allowed to charge an entry fee but isn't prohibited from charging other fees. Still, it is cheap entertainment. Remember, the GSMNP is the most visited NP in the country.
We are supposed to go to Dollywood this Saturday with some of the family. That is what I call a waste of money!
John Torchick
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