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Old 12-18-2009, 07:35 AM
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JoeFred JoeFred is offline
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Default The "Road to Nowhere" is Back in the News

Lakeview Drive.. Where does it go from here?

Yesterday the U.S. House approved a provision to give Swain County, NC $13 million toward settling the decades-long dispute over a proposed road through the North Shore area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler's office said the Senate is expected to pass the bill this weekend.

Full story at
http://www.citizen-times.com/article...EWS01/91217021

JF
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:50 AM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Joe Fred--As someone who has long advocated the monetary settlement on the Road to Nowhere issue and who has been a member of Citizens for the Economic Future of Swain County (the main organized group against further road building), I'm delighted. However, $12.8 million is a long way from the agreed-upon total, and Park superintendent Dale Ditmansen (sp.?) threw a considerable wrench in the works when he seemed, after the long study and acceptance of a specific figure, to go back on his word.
I won't be satisfied, and the same holds true for most in Swain County, until the whole amount has been paid. Much of that rests in Heath Shuler's hands. I know him and know his father extremely well. He's a good man, even though we by no means see eye-to-eye politically, and I think he'll bring this to full fruition.
Meanwhile, anyone who loves wild places and lovely streams far from avenues of asphalt (and I think that's most everyone on this forum) has to be pleased.
To be sure, there is a highly vocal minority in Swain County who will continue to fight this tooth and nail. They have some validity to their arguments, because the government did go back on its 1943 promise, and there's no doubt whatsoever that Park assistance in visits to graves on Decoration Day has been less than first-rate. I might note that most of those folks despise the Park and cannot see all the wonders it preserved in perpetuity. They will never accept the monetary settlement and that's sad. On the other hand, others with Park roots (my father grew up in the Park and has actually contributed money to the Citizens for the Economic Future of Swain /County, and let me assure you when Dad, who knew poverty as a child and weather the depression as a young man, gives money, it's a cause he really supports) realize the Park has been a huge boon.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:01 AM
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Jim, although I do not know Heath personally, I too believe he is a good man, as your father clearly must have been. I really like Bryson City and wish it the best.

JF
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:58 PM
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Is "the road to nowhere" the road that just runs up in the park and stops on the other side of the dam? Will the road make better access for Hazel Creek?
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:12 PM
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Default Wrong Road to Nowhere

tjw37909 - I'm know there's a story behind that road too, but I can't recall what it is. It's not the infamous Road to Nowhere. The one referred to here runs from a couple miles outside of downtown Bryson City into the Park, where it ends at a tunnel much like you'd see on the Parkway. It's about 5 or 6 miles long once you pass the Park boundry.
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:42 PM
tjw37909 tjw37909 is offline
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Will the road still lead to "nowhere" once they finish it?
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:30 PM
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The road will not and should not be finished. It's as finished as it's ever going to be. That's my opinion and that of most folks familiar with the issue. If you don't know the story, here's a short recent article that gives the basics. http://www.smokymountainnews.com/iss...aturalist.html
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:23 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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TJW--Old Tom has explained the two different roads, but let me clarify things a bit. Old Highway 288 served all of what is now the north shore of Fontana before the lake was flooded. The 1943 agreement was one to replace that road and give access to cemeteries. It wasn't for various reasons, built, but the "Road to Nowhere" was a start, constructed in the late 1950s, of that promised road.
Several things happened--money vanished, construction struck Anakeesta rock with all the porblems that poses, and environmentalists rightly became extremely concerned. The result is that the road hasn't been built. It never will be, and this money is a start towards making up for the broken 1943 promise.
Building it would have meant easier access to Hazel Creek (and Forney, Chambers, and Eagle creeks as well). That might seem good on the surface, but in my very strongly held opinion the opposite is actually the truth. The leaching from Anakeesta would be one problem, and a major one. Even bigger would be turning the whole world loose on a pristine area, one which has recovered from the ravages of the loggers, and destroying the whole nature of the backcountry experience. Yes, Hazel Creek would be easier to reach, but it would be like fishing along Highway 441. I for one don't want that.
Hope this clarifies things a bit. The matter has drawn national attention for years and is, as my previous post suggested, extremely contentious (to the point of very bitter feelings, some vandalism, fisticuffs, etc.) in Swain County.
Jim Casada
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:23 PM
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I've been on this road. It's also known as my "career"
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:55 PM
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After reading all this I come away with the thought that those people over in NC are just plain backwards.

Only thing missing is the banjo music in the background.
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