Reader Participation Day: Should Locals have More Say about a National Park Issue than Others?
When I last visited Yosemite National Park , I was still living in New Jersey. Many Californians in the park said "You're from New Jersey"? "How did you know about Yosemite?"
I was speechless at first but I said "Well, it is a national park." Some of the Californians had to think about that for a bit.
Now that I live close to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I wonder if locals have too much say in park affairs, or whether they should have more of a say? And what is a local visitor, anyway? Some who live in towns bordering the Smokies feel that people living in Asheville and Knoxville are not "local."
When a park invites the public to comment on an issue, they invite all Americans to comment via their website. You can find the issues under the "Park Management" link on a park's webiste. Still, in my experience, most of the input is from the local community.
Do you think that locals should have any more say in national park affairs than other Americans? Beyond that, have you ever taken part at a public meeting set up by the park or commented via the park website, or have you commented about a park issue for a park not close to you?