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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by rev_sunshine View Post
    GSMNP is one of the only national parks in the country that doesn't charge an entrance fee. It's also the most visited park. Thru hikers create the most backcountry damage (outside of storms and natural damage). Thru hikers leave trash, crap wherever they please, wash dishes/clothes in the water systems, leave food out for the bears, start fires where they're not supposed to, camp wherever they please despite the damage it does, destroy shelters, etc. And, despite all of the "I love nature. We need to protect this precious natural resource" rhetoric, ppl are crying over 4$ and devising their plans to screw the park more. I spend A LOT of time in The Smokies...way more than the 8 or so nights most thru hikers do. If the park workers/volunteers weren't so busy picking up after sloppy thru hikers (some of whom are just downright piggish), maybe some other trails could get maintained too. But instead of fixing trails that have been closed for years, ungrateful thru hikers get new shelters for their 8 night visit...and they're STILL complaining.
    I'm surprised that someone that hikes a lot through GSMNP and lives in the area is so misinformed on this new system. Not one cent will be spent on upkeep of anything, even the park officials have admitted to that; the money is solely to support the new reservation system and newly hired park rangers, two of them.


    More information in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park forum https://whiteblaze.net/forum/foru...-National-Park

  2. #22

    Default I agree with John

    I never cease to be amazed at how uninformed if not utterly misinformed most folks are about the "fees/tax". It will do nothing to support repairs or improvements. Even the "new" rangers are already being paid out of donations made by other organizations. To top it off, others have volunteered to man the phones for free, but were repeatedly turned down by the folks at the NPS.

    PS: Howdy John from a fellow NE Floridian I am just over on the N'side of Jax and noticed you are in Atlantic Beach

    Mike

  3. #23
    Registered User jorhawle's Avatar
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    Correct me if I'm wrong (and I probably am) but didn't volunteers upgrade the shelters? Isn't it true that NO federal money is used to maintain the trails? However, I bet federal money is used to maintain the roads that millions drive on per year in the park.

    i understand they can't charge an entry fee, and I will pay the $4 because I think it will be a benefit to do it online as opposed to on the phone (more convenient for most) but I think it's unfair to backpackers.

  4. #24
    Registered User Hoofit's Avatar
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    Well, here is another opinion from North East Florida,Flagler Beach!!it is nigh on impossible to expect all the thousands of hikers and others to crap behind a tree

  5. #25
    Registered User Hoofit's Avatar
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    I' not finished,darn it!!!
    This here I pad thingy just Tears me up!!!!
    What a mess on the downhill side of those shelters!!!
    Ridge runners telling everyone to grab the shovel and crap in a fifty square yard area in front of the shelter.
    I must admit , I don't have the solution as Privvies are hard to maintain but all that shoot paper blowin in the wind,AHHHHHHHHHHH and UGHHHHHHH!!!!!
    Does anyone have a solution to this ?
    Money wasted on reservations might well be better spent on education and some form of privy mgt during the busy season...
    Jus sayin.....

  6. #26

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    LMAO to Hoofit....I hear ya at -10F windchill factor kinda makes me wanna pitch a tent and do my duty there

  7. #27
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    whaaah, bunch of dam crybabies. keep, not paying your dues. keep blaming everybody else for your problems. keep crying about our great national park and wilderness system. I'm gonna pay my whole 400 cents, I'm gonna keep smiling, an I'm gonna keep thanking those that put their hard efforts into making our system great.
    * Warning: I bite AND I do not play well with others! -hellkat-

  8. #28

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    I love when ppl who live hundreds of miles away and read one or two articles on the Internet consider themselves experts on a topic. The fee is instituted and collected under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act...which, if you'll read that tells what and where the money goes, what it cannot be used for, and how it is used to enhance and maintain sites, build privies, etc

    There is also a cap of $20

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by rev_sunshine View Post
    My god WHAT is the problem? It's $4! The same people who complain about how run down the shelters are, turn around and complain when the shelters get fixed. I'm sure the $4 will help clean up and clear the many trails that have been hit hard. So many ppl say they love the Smokies, but not very many ppl are out there helping to clean them up.
    Quote Originally Posted by rev_sunshine View Post
    I love when ppl who live hundreds of miles away and read one or two articles on the Internet consider themselves experts on a topic. The fee is instituted and collected under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act...which, if you'll read that tells what and where the money goes, what it cannot be used for, and how it is used to enhance and maintain sites, build privies, etc

    There is also a cap of $20
    I don't consider myself an expert, by any means on this subject; the fact that I live hundreds of miles away is irrelevant, thanks to technology.

    Under my last link there is this thread, which is very informative, notice all the locals from which I gain my knowledge https://whiteblaze.net/forum/show...erson-Per-Hike

    Your first post I posted above seems to indicate that the fees are for maintaining the trail and shelters, but has already been mentioned, the vast majority of maintenance comes from volunteers.

    But don't take my word, or the word of so many locals, just look at this official link http://www.nps.gov/grsm/parknews/bc-camping-fee.htm

    Excerpt:

    "Concern was also raised about the range of fee amounts that were under consideration and that the resulting revenues may be diverted to other programs. We have decided to focus our plans around the lowest and simplest of the fees under study: $4 per night per person. Most importantly, 100% of the revenue from this program will be invested in improving back-country services through extended hours of the back-country office, trip-planning assistance, on-line reservations, and protection of park resources through increased ranger staff. "


    Now I can understand how someone can mistakenly read into the above paragraph and think that money is going directly into maintenance and upkeep of the trail. However, this is wrong. What they're saying is that this plan/fee is to pay for the on-line reservation system and increased ranger staff. However, they also seem to be saying that money will go towards upkeep, but this is wrong reading. What they are saying is that this system will improve the environment because of the increased ranger staff enforcing LNT principles. Forget that it's only two rangers who will work on shifts to monitor over 800 miles of maintained trails...Pleaze spare me the BS

  10. #30
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    uh, psycho. John, go take a hike. No, really I think you need to get some fresh air. (p.s. doesn't mean I disagree
    * Warning: I bite AND I do not play well with others! -hellkat-

  11. #31
    Registered User 4Bears's Avatar
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    Paying an user fee has been going on for sometime in other National parks wheather it is an entrance fee or a backcountry camping fee, Isle Royale is one example, all I can say is ante up and enjoy.
    "You have brains in your head/You have feet in your shoes/You can steer yourself in any direction you choose." - Dr. Seuss

  12. #32

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    About time the GSMNP came to their senses and started charging people, I say pay up or shut up.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by rev_sunshine View Post
    GSMNP is one of the only national parks in the country that doesn't charge an entrance fee. It's also the most visited park. Thru hikers create the most backcountry damage (outside of storms and natural damage). Thru hikers leave trash, crap wherever they please, wash dishes/clothes in the water systems, leave food out for the bears, start fires where they're not supposed to, camp wherever they please despite the damage it does, destroy shelters, etc. And, despite all of the "I love nature. We need to protect this precious natural resource" rhetoric, ppl are crying over 4$ and devising their plans to screw the park more. I spend A LOT of time in The Smokies...way more than the 8 or so nights most thru hikers do. If the park workers/volunteers weren't so busy picking up after sloppy thru hikers (some of whom are just downright piggish), maybe some other trails could get maintained too. But instead of fixing trails that have been closed for years, ungrateful thru hikers get new shelters for their 8 night visit...and they're STILL complaining.
    I agree with this post. People are slobs!

    I spend a lot of time in Yellwostone NP during the summer. Not only do they have an entry fee they also have a camping fee and a fee for a fishing license. You want the facilities yet nobody wants to pay for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChinMusic View Post
    IMO your post is simply FOS

    IMOHO his post is NOT FOS!
    While on my hike in 09 I actually came across where some human pig defecated right in the middle of the trail in the Smokies. I was also amazed and POed at the amount of toilet paper and garbage all along the trail. I met one trail angle in VA whose trail name is Garbage Man or Trash Man because he spends his time on the trail picking up all the friggin garbage.
    If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

    Come to me, all you who are tired and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear Cables View Post
    Thanks for the article. I like the idea of online resevations. Makes it alot easier. Also $4 a night is still a bargin. They charge $5 in the Desolation Wilderness so...
    Desolation only charges a max of $10 for up to 14 days of camping and it does not tell you where to camp at all except for the first night. Totally unlike the Smokies as they want you to tell them exactly where you'll be on a night-by-night basis. Unworkable for, say, a 10 day trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by "Atlas" View Post
    I just came through the A.T. section of the Smokies three weeks ago. Some of the new shelters are really nice, with translucent roofs and some newly designed eating areas that look like they are missing bar stools. But it was a big mistake to not put privies on site. Seriously, no privies. Paying to stay at a shelter is a bad precedent. Soon we will have to pay a fee to register with the ATC to get a permit to travel the Trail, then a State Fee when entering each state and a Federal fee for crossing state lines.
    I've been saying this all along. Acquiescence to GSMNP fees will bleed into more fees on the AT with the eventual $5 a night charge to thruhike the AT and with every campsite reserved along its 2,000 mile length. Unworkable.

    Quote Originally Posted by rev_sunshine View Post
    My god WHAT is the problem? It's $4!
    This acceptance of the fee I call Acquiescence. And it's just not the $4 fee but the unworkable system of requiring all backpackers to reserve each site for each night. How will I know where I'll be on Day 8 or a 12 day trip? Unworkable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoofit View Post
    I' not finished,darn it!!!
    This here I pad thingy just Tears me up!!!!
    What a mess on the downhill side of those shelters!!!
    Ridge runners telling everyone to grab the shovel and crap in a fifty square yard area in front of the shelter.
    I must admit , I don't have the solution as Privvies are hard to maintain but all that shoot paper blowin in the wind,AHHHHHHHHHHH and UGHHHHHHH!!!!!
    Does anyone have a solution to this ?
    Money wasted on reservations might well be better spent on education and some form of privy mgt during the busy season...
    Jus sayin.....
    The solution is Dispersed Camping and the removal of all trail shelters in the Smokies. Dispersed camping means opening up the 500,000 acres to wherever-you-want camping as is done in the Dolly Sods wilderness, the Cohutta and Big Frog wilderness, the Mt Rogers Backcountry and so far pretty much anywhere you want to camp on the BMT or the AT or the Foothills trails or in the Cherokee or Pisgah or Jefferson or Nantahala national forests. The Park has around 100 designated backcountry sites for overnighters. Give each an allowance of 2 acres and thats 200 acres for backpackers to camp on. 200 acres out of 500,000?? It's absurd.

    Quote Originally Posted by RED-DOG View Post
    About time the GSMNP came to their senses and started charging people, I say pay up or shut up.
    I just wish the car drivers could pay a $20 entrance fee and then pay up and shut up. Why zero in on the backpackers? What about the vehicle access into the Park? Especially since the Park has the worst air pollution of any park in the US?? TN state legislature could institute this entrance fee if they'd just pull out the giant tick lodged between their ears.

  15. #35
    Registered User moytoy's Avatar
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    I pretty much agree with all you preach about this issue TW. But the problem with the Tennessee Legislators is that they are elected officials and most Tennesseans won't agree with you. If it could be shown that a car entrance fee would benefit the Park and then a yearly pass could be issued to local users for a reduced price...well then maybe it could happen. But frankly I don't believe it ever will.
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  16. #36
    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rev_sunshine View Post
    My god WHAT is the problem? It's $4! The same people who complain about how run down the shelters are, turn around and complain when the shelters get fixed. I'm sure the $4 will help clean up and clear the many trails that have been hit hard. So many ppl say they love the Smokies, but not very many ppl are out there helping to clean them up.
    Ha we are CHEAP and we love to complain and Chin is right - Not $1 is going to improvements - it feeds the ...
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

  17. #37
    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    What’s in the Air?


    Great Smoky Mountains NP, North Carolina and Tennessee
    Most visitors expect clean air and good visibility in parks. However, Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NP) in North Carolina and Tennessee, experiences some of the highest measured air pollution of any national park in the U.S. The park is downwind of many sources of air pollution, including power plants, factories, vehicles, and agriculture. Some of these sources are nearby, while others are regional—such as pollution stacks along the Ohio River and industrial cities of the Southeast and Midwest—or even global. Air pollutants carried into the park can harm natural and scenic resources including streams, soils, forests, fish and wildlife, and visibility.
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

  18. #38
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    good reason for an early start - get out of there before the fees

    seriously though, it is about time the hikers pay something - nearly every other outdoor sport - fishing, hunting boating etc has fees, and/ or targeted excise taxes - look at all the gamelands owned AT corridor in PA - paid for by the hunters, used by the hikers - naturally everyone likes it when getting something paid for by others but the attitude of entitlement is a little naive.

  19. #39
    Registered User canoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rev_sunshine View Post
    I love when ppl who live hundreds of miles away and read one or two articles on the Internet consider themselves experts on a topic. The fee is instituted and collected under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act...which, if you'll read that tells what and where the money goes, what it cannot be used for, and how it is used to enhance and maintain sites, build privies, etc

    There is also a cap of $20
    ROTFLOL You really believe that. Oh the gov said it...must be true....lol

  20. #40

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    I don't like the new fee, but after reading the FAQ on the park website, I see one possible good thing about the new system for me: it allows for one free itinerary change after you've paid for your reservation. Why do I care about that?...because one of my favorite things to do is stay at the Le Conte shelter during winter storms. In past years, people have reserved all the available shelter spots weeks/months in advance. Then when a snow storm would come in, most of the people just didn't show up, and they didn't call the park to cancel. So sometimes I couldn't get a permit even though I knew there would be space in the shelter. My hope is that now people will change their permit dates since they have money invested.

    I'm with Tipi Walter on opening up more areas of the park for camping. Heck, I would be happy if I could just camp on the closed road to Clingman's Dome in the winter when it's snowed over. On top of snow, on top of asphalt- that is true zero impact camping!

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