Rep. Taylor's Parks Support Questioned
Congressman Charles Taylor is a Republican from North Carolina who, when it comes to national parks, is a walking, talking contradiction.
Even though the opposition far outweighs those who support the so-called "Road to Nowhere" in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Representative Taylor maintains that the federal government should spend some $600 million on the dead-end road rather than opting for a one-time $52 million payout to North Carolina's Swain County.
Yet when his House Subcommittee On Interior, Environment and Related Agencies met in April to review a Government Accountability Office report on National Park Service funding, Taylor commented that the agency seems to be "losing ground" in the funding battle. That's a strange comment coming from a man who would have the government pay $550 million more than necessary in Great Smoky Mountains. Wouldn't it be wiser for him to get behind the $52 million payoff and use his chairmanship position to have the savings go to the Park Service for much more worthy projects?
Taylor's flip-flopping on Park Service funding are being called out today in the Citizen Times of Asheville, North Carolina. In an op-ed piece, political activist Gordon Smith chides Rep. Taylor for underfunding "the resources that will actually bring jobs and tourist dollars to our state. Charles Taylor is not a friend to the forests or to those who make their living through tourism. He’s had eight terms to make his priorities clear, and he has failed to protect our parks and our economy."
Smith's thoughts are well worth a read, particularly if you love the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky.