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Old 03-11-2012, 09:42 AM
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JoeFred JoeFred is offline
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Default Backing the Backpackers (Free Stuff plus $4 for S&H)

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Last edited by JoeFred; 05-05-2012 at 12:58 PM.. Reason: Removed comments
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:00 AM
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Good idea and nice initiative to raise awareness and to inform!
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:10 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Fred--I have fought against this boondoggle tooth and nail and probably have at least 200 hours time in it. I was one of four people who put together a petition of protest (we garnered over 500 signatures in a very short time--the Park only had a 30 day comment period and they changed that in mid-stream). [The Park Service], in what I consider a disgraceful approach, dismissed it and one other petition as nothing more. [They] didn't both to let the public know that the comments on the matter ran 19 to 1 against the fees. Nor [have they] been truthful with the public.
I would not, without indisputable evidence, accuse [them] of deceit. Yet that is precisely what has happened. The whole argument for fees was predicated on an "overcrowded" backcountry when in truth camping is down dramatically since peak years in the mid-1990s. Likewise, those who said there were constant complaints of abuses in the backcountry were blowing smoke. As I've said elsewhere on the forum, a FOIA request, seemingly the only way to get to the truth with Ditmanson, revealed precisely 15 complaints in three years. The majority of them dealt with issues other than camping.
Bully for you for doing this, and rest assured my efforts, and those of others, will not stop. I am deeply disappointed and disgusted with Park leadership, and I know thousands of others are as well. It is abundantly manifest that the views of those who love the Park and are some of its finest advocates mean nothing. We were ignored, but the fight is not over.
Incidentally, although I haven't personally confirmed this, several people have contacted me and indicated that my book on fishing in the Park has suddenly disappeared from the shelves of Park visitor centers. If so, I guess I'm paying the price for saying what I think. If that's the case, so be it.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com

Last edited by Paula Begley; 03-12-2012 at 08:26 AM.. Reason: Removed individual Park Service staff name. P~
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:16 PM
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Removed comments 5/5.

JF
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Casada View Post
Fred--I have fought against this boondoggle tooth and nail and probably have at least 200 hours time in it. I was one of four people who put together a petition of protest (we garnered over 500 signatures in a very short time--the Park only had a 30 day comment period and they changed that in mid-stream). [The Park Service], in what I consider a disgraceful approach, dismissed it and one other petition as nothing more. [They] didn't both to let the public know that the comments on the matter ran 19 to 1 against the fees. Nor [have they] been truthful with the public.
I would not, without indisputable evidence, accuse [them] of deceit. Yet that is precisely what has happened. The whole argument for fees was predicated on an "overcrowded" backcountry when in truth camping is down dramatically since peak years in the mid-1990s. Likewise, those who said there were constant complaints of abuses in the backcountry were blowing smoke. As I've said elsewhere on the forum, a FOIA request, seemingly the only way to get to the truth with Ditmanson, revealed precisely 15 complaints in three years. The majority of them dealt with issues other than camping.
Bully for you for doing this, and rest assured my efforts, and those of others, will not stop. I am deeply disappointed and disgusted with Park leadership, and I know thousands of others are as well. It is abundantly manifest that the views of those who love the Park and are some of its finest advocates mean nothing. We were ignored, but the fight is not over.
Incidentally, although I haven't personally confirmed this, several people have contacted me and indicated that my book on fishing in the Park has suddenly disappeared from the shelves of Park visitor centers. If so, I guess I'm paying the price for saying what I think. If that's the case, so be it.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com
Jim,
Keep you head up! If you are not seeing the results you desire at the moment; I can assure you that you are informing and educating others. I believe that the GSMP Officials could have addressed your response and those of others in a professionally and tactfully manner. If their idea is justified in their mind; then, they could cordially explain and illustrate it to the public. Also; they should welcome the insight of the public voice and address it respectfully. It bothers me that they would remove your book out of bureaucratic and political motives.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFred View Post
I decided my offer announced in Post #1 to help with backcountry trips and raise awareness was not such a good idea after all. My apologies to everyone.

I so need to go fishin'
JF
Joe, at-least you tried and put it out there...No one ever gets anywhere without giving it a good go...I respect that...!
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2012, 11:26 AM
Crockett Crockett is offline
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I think the park could have gone a long way in easing frustration about this by doing a few simple common sense things like:

Having an annual pass available for people who use the backcountry a lot like many locals do.
Making backcountry camping free for kids

Obviously things like that are kind of common sense and sad that they didn't use much of that. I was hiking down the Long Hungry Ridge trail yesterday and very near the top I ran into a couple backpacking with their 4 young kids up to Gregorys Bald. The adults were worn out but the small kids saw us coming down the trail and were excitedly asking us "Whats it like up there?". I couldn't help but think about how this fee would affect folks like that.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:17 PM
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tnflyfisher tnflyfisher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Casada View Post
Incidentally, although I haven't personally confirmed this, several people have contacted me and indicated that my book on fishing in the Park has suddenly disappeared from the shelves of Park visitor centers. If so, I guess I'm paying the price for saying what I think. If that's the case, so be it.
Now why do I not find this surprising...
Typical schoolyard bully behavior if you ask me.

Mr. Casada, I fully intend to buy a copy of your book on my next trip to the park. If nothing else, hopefully it will help offset someone who might have made a purchase at a park visitor center.
Just trying to do my part...

Tight Lines,
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  #8  
Old 03-14-2012, 01:23 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Shawn and Tnflyfisher--Thanks for your supportive comments. I think most if not all of this brouhaha about fees could have been avoided had Park leadership simply shown common sense and sat down with concerned parties and stakeholders prior to ever broaching the concept (then arbitrarily ramming it down the public's throat never mind widespread opposition). I know that I personally would have traveled to a meeting to exchange views, air concerns, and seek a consensus. Apparently the Park doesn't want to do this, because as others have noted, the so-called public meetings for comment were a sham.
On a related matter, the only real problems with crowding come on trail shelters (they don't impact anglers much if at all). Yet I just today learned that a group known as A Walk in the Woods, apparently operating out of Gatlinburg, has 13 three-night trips along the Park portion of the AT scheduled in a 20-week period during the peak of camping activity. This is a for profit operation working in tandem with REI. What this in effect means is that on every trip they removed eight camper spots for that night. Do the math. That translates to 312 camper nights where others are, in effect, shut out of a spot if the site is full (and guess who makes their reservations far in advance?).
I have no problem with fishing outfitters taking small groups into spacious campsites such as Proctor on Hazel Creek, but it simply isn't right for Park licensees to get first dibs, all the while making money, at the expense of the general public. Predictiably, these folks were about the only voices speaking out in favor of the fees. Of cousre they just raise their charges, never mind the impact on locals. It's disgraceful.
Again, thanks for the support, and should Park leaders happen to read this, I stand ready, even eager, to discuss things. Just don't ram them down our throats with false information.
As for removal of my book, if it has been done (and even more folks tell me it has disappeared, well that's just petty. Never mind though, just get it directly from me or from the fine folks at Little River Outfitters who provide us this forum.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:02 PM
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Last edited by Mac; 03-19-2012 at 01:13 PM..
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:52 AM
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Removed comments 5/5.
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Last edited by JoeFred; 05-05-2012 at 12:59 PM.. Reason: Revised wording of request.
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