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Old 01-30-2008, 04:35 PM
Byron Begley Byron Begley is offline
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Location: Townsend, Tennessee
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MtnMike, I sent you an e-mail.

Everyone Else,

There is a task force made up of several organizations and individuals who are looking into alternative transportation options to enter the Park from Townsend. It sounds like the National Parks Conservation Association is leading the charge. Today's ride in a hybrid bus was sponsored by that task force. Most of the 20 passengers were from various government agencies in our area and some people who are just citizens. Bob Miller who is the information officer from the Park was on board. Bill Claybough, director of the Foothills Land Conservancy sat behind me. I was invited because I am Chair of Tourism and Travel for the Blount County Chamber. The goal of this group is to offer clean mass transit from Townsend to the Park and to destinations within. The money is available now through a corporate grant. Of course today there were only three cars in the Cove that I could see. It was a nice experience to just sit and watch. We also had a Cades Cove expert describing the cove and the former residents. The Citibus runs on batteries most of the time and a Chevrolet Vortec engine kicks in when needed. It was quiet and comfortable. Gatlinburg and Cherokee both have shuttle buses for tourists to use.

I don't think, at least during my lifetime that the Cove or the Park will be closed to traffic. People here won't let that happen. Also, the residents who were displaced when the Park was formed were promised that they would never be charged to enter the Park. I would like to see an entrance fee and a fishing fee to help fund the Park but it doesn't look like it will happen, at least for a while.

The loop road around the cove is in bad repair. Bob Miller told me that it was in the budget to resurface the road in 2009.

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Old 01-30-2008, 05:30 PM
MtnMike MtnMike is offline
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Default Touring the cove with an expert

Hey Byron,
Thanks for the e-mail.

I imagine that it was pretty nice to just sit back and let someone take you around the cove. It would be pretty cool to go around with an expert. November through January are actually some of my favorite months to visit Cades Cove.
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:49 PM
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flydoc flydoc is offline
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Buzz et al,

The link to the statistics and alternatives is at http://www.cadescoveplanning.com.

Click on "planning process" and then the submenu "alternatives".

The direct link is:


There are several documents there you can click on (about halfway down the page) with interesting statistics, background, and the alternatives.

Definitely a multi-faceted issue. It may be difficult or impossible to satisfy all the various interests. Personally I would have no trouble riding the tram to the Abrams trailhead. It would probably be quicker than driving most of the time and would make for a more tranquil experience for everyone (in my opinion!)

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Old 01-30-2008, 06:18 PM
hw3 hw3 is offline
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Default Good Musings

Fellow fishers:
Have not been around the GSMNP all that much or long either, but I do remember when UK & UT would tee it up in the fall at Neyland in the '70's that often we would go to G-burg on Fri, drive to the game and back on Sat, and head for LEX on Sun. Any bets on making that round trip today? In those days, not all of the hotels were even open in NOV, and those open usually had a wing or two closed. Seen that lately? It is surely no coincidence that Sevierville and Gatlingburg are the same alliteration as Sodom and Gomorrah. Don't even think about responding to the spelling here. As one who from time to time represents both developers and homeowners, not at the same time, they do not fit in the same room, in land use matters, it should come as no surprise that zoning is easy, but planning is a bitch. If the time and effort can be put in the right place at the outset, the results are not that bad. But like everything American about government, often the result, like the Constitution, is both an experiment and a compromise.
All we can do is the best we can at the time necessary to do it. And remember, others never lie, but sometimes the truth changes. A Simple Country Lawyer who would rather fish and hunt birds. Watson
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:56 PM
Grumpy Grumpy is offline
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Originally Posted by buzzmcmanus View Post
Grumpy, You stated that if you cut out automobiles, you cut out funding. Is the park funded by traffic count, or were you just implying that with reduced visitors, the government wouldn't see a need for more funds?

It would fall on reduced visitors, that would also hurt the local economy.

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Old 01-30-2008, 11:07 PM
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ijsouth ijsouth is offline
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Yep...even though I'm now a "semi-native" of the area, as much as we've come up there, and as much as I get frustrated sitting in traffic trying to get from one end of the park to the other, and as much as I get frustrated with dumb tourists down here in the New Orleans area, you're right - the tourists pay the bills. Also, we have to remember the park belongs to everyone in the country, or at least the portion that pays taxes - and that includes the people who never leave their cars...although they're just cheating themselves of a great experience, IMO.

On the other hand, a small admissions fee could fund a number of projects, and I don't think people would mind paying - especially considering how much many of these people pay for the "attractions" of Gatlinburg, etc.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:24 AM
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buzzmcmanus buzzmcmanus is offline
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Grumpy, Thanks, That's what I thought you meant, but in all honesty, I don't know how the governmant appropriates money to the different National Parks. They may just draw numbers out of a hat.

flydoc, Interesting stuff there. The Blount paper this morning had an article about it this morning. I'll have to absorb it some more before I come to any real opinions as to what I'd like to see them do. I know I don't want to see it stay the way it is. Alternative 2 wants road improvements and a sign that tells you how potentially miserable your trip is going to be. I wouldn't want to see them add more lanes. In 20 years from now as park visitation grows, are they going to have to 4 lane it? Talk about an eyesore and it would take away from the whole natural perspective of things. I think it was Alternative 3 that suggested a seperate bike/walk path. That would be nice, but then we're getting back to the adding more pavement and getting away from the natural aspects of it. Right now I do like Alternative 5 the best, but $66-$72 millon dollars!!! Where's that money going to come from? Are they going to have to cut other projects to come up with it? I'll have to do some more research before I come to any hard conclussions as to which I like best.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:11 AM
Byron Begley Byron Begley is offline
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Here's a link to the article Buzz is talking about. Even though I was on that bus ride I didn't know the whole story until reading this. I do remember hearing about the 5 alternatives but it has been years. As I have stated I am not in favor of closing down Cades Cove to traffic. However what Mr. Boyd is trying to do seems good on the surface to me. I would visit the Cove more often if all I had to do is climb on this bus and pay a fee. To me it would be a nice break from work. But if I were going to Abrams Creek to fish I would want to drive.


FlyDoc, thanks for posting the links. I had not seen them before. I'll read it tonight. I've been thinking about this whole situation this morning. Maybe I wouldn't mind hopping on the bus to go fishing. Byron

Last edited by Byron Begley; 01-31-2008 at 11:16 AM..
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Old 01-31-2008, 05:36 PM
Byron Begley Byron Begley is offline
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Location: Townsend, Tennessee
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Here is a link to the Conservation Fund website. Last night I watched a video that is offered for sale by them and it was amazing. It is called "The Dollars and Sense of Preserving Community Character". Mine is borrowed but I'm going to buy my own copy. The cost is $25. If you are involved with your community and care about it's future, this DVD by Edward McMahon is a "must have".


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