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  #21  
Old 08-04-2010, 11:28 AM
Streamhound Streamhound is offline
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BRT the idea of paying is the conundrum of policy. I seem to recall the tragedy of commons lecture, which is usually invoked when discussing privatization of a public good.

I would guess a question might be how prevalent is this problem?
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  #22  
Old 08-04-2010, 11:40 AM
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Rog 1 Rog 1 is offline
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Won't happen....when the GSMNP was created there was a provision that prohibited an entrance fee being charged
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  #23  
Old 08-04-2010, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Streamhound View Post
BRT the idea of paying is the conundrum of policy. I seem to recall the tragedy of commons lecture, which is usually invoked when discussing privatization of a public good.

I would guess a question might be how prevalent is this problem?
I wouldn't care about prevalence unless it was an extreme problem and then I still couldn't advocate a fee.
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  #24  
Old 08-04-2010, 01:23 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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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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  #25  
Old 08-04-2010, 01:26 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Rog 1--Precisely. You said in a few words what it took me, in my verbose way, several hundred to say.
Jim Casada
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  #26  
Old 08-04-2010, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim Casada View Post
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
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com
I knew of the history of people chipping in to get the park created, I thought The National Parks: America's Best Idea did a decent job of showing how much the surrounding area contributed to getting the park created.

I also can understand the sense of injustice. As a TVA employee and I am not unaware of the issues we caused when did the same. That's why I don't mention who I am employed by in some areas of rural Tennessee, LOL.

Hopefully the Smokies are not in the same financial situation as a lot of other small parks. I know California was actually considering shutting down some of theirs. For the amount of people and tourist traps that greatly benefit from this park, it's a shame the place is having any funding issues whatsoever.
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  #27  
Old 08-04-2010, 03:18 PM
Crockett Crockett is offline
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The park is facing financial problems like most of the others. The government seems to find a way to stick it to you one way or another. At one of the public meetings last fall park officials including the park superintendant discussed the fact that they cannot do an entrance fee and it was brought up that they were not at all barred from other "miscellaneous" fees such as backcountry camping fees, etc. It was tabled for now (as it has been in the past) but I wonder if it won't happen in the future. Selfishly I would rather pay the $35 a year entrance fee than $15 or more each time I went to the backcountry but thats just because I backpack a lot.
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  #28  
Old 08-04-2010, 03:28 PM
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jeffnles1 jeffnles1 is offline
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How about a free or very inexpensive ($5.00 for the year) Park Fishing License? In Yellowstone, they do it that way (I forget the charge but it wasn't that high).

In the Smoky's a Tennessee / NC license and a yearly Park Fishing Pass.

I'd gladly pay it, especially if it improved enforcement and fisheries work.

Of course, administering such a thing could cost more than the revenue generated and it could even lead to harrassment by rangers (I could see getting checked multiple times a day by every ranger who drove by).

Doubt if there is one simple answer to the poaching question but perhaps a lot of little things (more volunteers, more involvement by us when we see something, more money through fees for enforcement, more awareness in local businesses, better sinage in the park, ).

Jeff
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  #29  
Old 08-04-2010, 03:57 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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jeffnles1--While I wouldn't mind paying an annual fee, even up to $50 or so, rest assured it would be greeted with howls of protest from folks on both sides of the Park. Their argument would be (and it would have considerable validity) that they were promised free use of and access to the Park in perpetuity.

Another side of this issue, and it goes to poaching as well as other matters, is the pervasive feeling, especially on the N. C. side of the Park, that Park bureaucrats have consistently failed to live up to their promises. There's more than a little truth in that, and a key example comes with maintenance of and access to cemeteries. While the North Shore Road agreement never mentioned cemeteries, both TVA and the Park assured folks that loved ones buried in the Park would be properly remembered and respected. Yet in recent years in particular the Park has done anything but a stellar job in getting people to the more remote sites (huge problems on Hazel Creek, for example). They also do not maintain sites very well, IMO.

Just last week I walked up to the Mingus Cemetery as I returned to my truck after an evening's fishing on Luftee. It was badly in need of weeding, mowing, and a general clean up (and this is a site that is very easily accessible). The last time I visited it the cemetery which lies just a bit downstream from the Bone Valley campsite on Hazel Creek was a mess. Sam Macdonald, a regular visitor to this forum, may be able to offer more insight. He probably knows more about graves in the Park than anyone.

My point is simply this. A certain portion of locals feel a lingering sense of grievance in connection with the Park. It doesn't in any way justify poaching (and that involves far more than using bait to catch trout and keeping too many trout; namely, game and things like "sang"), but it does give n'er do wells a sort of backdoor justification for shameful behavior. In other words, not only through neglect connected with lack of funding but through outright failure to do what has promised, the Park is sometimes its own worst enemy.

To be sure, there's reason aplenty to expect folks to do their share to look after the graves of their ancestors, but even if fully willing there's the issue of access. Maybe the great poet of the Yukon, Rovert Service, put it best in a rew words: "A promise made is a debt unpaid." The Park has log had unpaid debts.
I don't know whether this will make sense to many of you, but the lingering sense of being wronged is very real in small communities on the edge of the Park as well as with some descendants of those who were forcibly removed. Incidentally, my father, who will celebrate his 101st birthday this weekend, does not feel at all aggrieved. He thinks the Park was a great blessing, although he also feels that Park officials have often created public relations nightmares for themselves.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com
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  #30  
Old 08-04-2010, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Casada View Post
Park bureaucrats have consistently failed to live up to their promises.
Not surprising considering the current state of our government. Not going to get political, but I am disatisified with all parties and affliations running the country which trickles down into the way the parks are being run.
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