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Great Smoky Mountains Proposes Fee Increases For Campgrounds, Pavilions

Jun 1st - 09:07am | rmackie

A good point Dahkota, I have retired friends who do as you do, their motor home is their residence. Ido think fees are an issue, I support camping, entrance fees, but it can get get out of hand. Here in  California we have state parks that charge 50.00 a night for a campsite, there are now proposals for parking fees in high use areas for pullouts.  

Jun 1st - 07:30am | dahkota doesn't add a fee to reservations at Smoky Mountain National Park. In fact, they don't add fees to most of their campground reservations. ReserveAmerica does, but transfers users to for any bookings for federal sites.

Jun 1st - 07:07am | SmokiesBackpacker

As a park volunteer I donate a lot of time to the Smokies.  If I were to put a dollar figure on it I would say that I personally donate $2000 dollars per year in time to the Smokies, based on my pay in the private sector.  How about you, Leo?  

May 31st - 22:13pm | Lee Dalton

Smoky, first you're dodging the question and failed to tell us how much YOU personally contributed to the parks in your taxes. Second, you're misinterpreting data from the Green Book.  The president proposes a budget.  Congress than adds to or subtracts from the proposal.  The Park Service is not assured of annual budget increases.

May 31st - 17:31pm | ecbuck

While I am not one that is diametrically opposed to rising fees I wouldn't lobby for more parks that would further stretch the budget (North Woods) and instead would work to eliminate certain park units that either don't fit the mission or could be managed effectively by state, local or private entities.  

May 31st - 17:30pm | Lee Dalton

There are three major dealers of RV vehicles within a few miles of my home.  They all have at least 100 RVs in their lots waiting to be sold.    Some are nearly 40 feet long.  They will be purchased by Americans and will add to the already clogged campgrounds in our parks and forests.  How many other similar dealerships exist nation wide?

May 31st - 16:31pm | Sonja Dohse

These parks are ours!  Sick of the Park Service.  They market Yosemite like Disneyland all over the world.  I am born in America and I can't reserve a campground, unless I do it 6 months ahead of time.  The Park Service/National Forest just want to make money to feather thier pockets and fund thier benifits and retirement.  We are all stupid....we can complain all

May 31st - 14:10pm | KBenzar

There is an 800-pound gorilla in this proposal that is easily overlooked. It's hidden in this sentence:

May 31st - 09:11am | SmokiesBackpacker

Overall, a total of $559.1 million in discretionary and $300.0 million in mandatory funds will allow NPS over ten years to make targeted, measurable, and quantifiable upgrades to all 6,735 of its highest priority non-transportation assets and restore and maintain them in good condition. The specific programs are identified in the table below.

May 31st - 07:59am | Lee Dalton

Smokies, you really believe you pay "lots" of taxes to support our parks? I've asked you to do some math before, but you won't.  But let's try again. The NPS budget is something like 0.001 of the national budget.  Take a look at your last tax returns.  How much did you pay in Federal Income Tax?

May 31st - 06:48am | SmokiesBackpacker

Fee, Fee, Fee.  Ca$$iu$ is fulfilling his name and raison d'etre.  He is of the same cloth as Jarvis.  At least now the frontcountry campers can feel the burn.  In Colorado, they are charging folks to dayhike national forest trails.  This is what has happened to Mather, Muir and Roosevelt's vision of public lands.  Lands for which we pay taxes.

National Park Service Director Apologizes For Ethics Lapse

Jun 1st - 06:50am | Anonymouse

The Interior IG says he lied to the Secretary, violated ethics rules, and had the poor judgment to think that a book of his would be "really powerful."   Good job JJ. Do the honorable thing and resign. 

May 31st - 11:39am | NPS Worker

Had I did this as an NPS worker I would've been fired. How is it that our """leaders""" get away with so much that we would be crucified for? Like Hillary with her emails - if I did that I would've been fired and jailed. 

May 30th - 11:17am | Kurt Repanshek

C'mon, folks....

May 30th - 11:16am | SmokiesBackpacker

Rick B.  Any resemblance in my remarks to your beard or affiliation with the NPS is coincidental.

May 30th - 10:59am | Rick B.

Again with your facial hair phobia. I sure wouldn't parade that in public if I were you.

May 30th - 06:34am | SmokiesBackpacker

It's just proof that desk jockey bureaucrats like Jarvis get to stay in their positions while in the private sector he would have gotten greased for any one of his 10 scandals.  Jewell needs to do right by the American people and send him back to burma shave. That would be a start in restoring integrity to the NPS.

May 30th - 06:32am | SmokiesBackpacker

The investigation also showed that Director Jarvis approached Eastern National with the idea, but that he had told Interior Secretary Sally Jewell that Eastern National had asked him to write the book.

Traveler Poll: Should President Obama Designate A National Monument In Maine's North Woods?

May 31st - 18:16pm | Siglin1

Someone mentioned  that the Quimby land could be donated to Baxter State Park. Sounded like a good ideea to me and less controversial.

May 31st - 13:36pm | ecbuck

Thanks Kurt.  Adding the National Recreation area in the question certainly helps the numbers.  Nevertheless, I would be opposed.  I fear NP or NRA status would bring far more development and more restrictions than the current status, not to mention stretch the budget.

May 31st - 13:00pm | Kurt Repanshek

See if this link doesn't help, EC. More surveys, but statewide, with question listed:

May 31st - 12:55pm | ecbuck

And less than 50% of its population.  Looking at Moore, it appears to be a pollster for higher to create the desired results (as are most polls) and influence opinion.  Their self description: Moore's research has helped hundreds of clients win campaigns, sell ideas and develop communications strategies.

May 31st - 12:17pm | Kurt Repanshek

Look at a map of the 2nd District, EC. It's about 80 percent of Maine.

May 31st - 12:08pm | ecbuck

So 2/3rds of the 2nd district, not 2/3rds of all of Maine.  Also your article says the actual survey was linked but I didn't see that link.  

May 31st - 11:15am | Kurt Repanshek

May 31st - 11:13am | ecbuck

Could you link that poll?  

May 31st - 11:08am | dahkota

A recent poll shows 2/3s of Maine residents want a Maine Woods National Park.

May 30th - 23:16pm | trailadvocate

How about respecting the people that actually live there.  It's their lives that will be changed.  Real stuff!  Enough already!  

May 30th - 22:22pm | Dennis G. Wingle


May 30th - 14:47pm | Toni Seger

Again, I have never voted in this poll, but it says that I have voted. I think the idea of a park in the Katahdin region is inspired. This magnificent piece of nature will inspire many others, draw an appreciate audience and prove endlessly valuable. Some locals might not know how lucky they are yet, but they'll find out.

May 30th - 11:58am | Steve Corneliussen

Thanks for fixing the voting software and thanks for conducting this poll.

May 30th - 10:37am | Kurt Repanshek

OK, thanks for pointing that out. We've asked the tech to look into it...

May 30th - 09:33am | Steve Corneliussen

Ditto what Diane Friese said.

May 30th - 09:22am | paul edwards

Public ownership preserves; private ownership destroys.

May 30th - 09:20am | Diane Friese

I have not already voted on this poll, but it is indicating that I did.   Please check your software.   I am in complete support of designating this land a National Monument in Maine.  Northern Maine needs to diversify its livelihood and the rest of the world needs to visit  and experience the beauty of the northern Maine woods. 

3 Perfectly Blue Days At Crater Lake National Park

May 31st - 17:28pm | Ron Mastrogiuseppe


May 31st - 13:40pm | Owen Hoffman

Excellent article Kurt.  I wish there were family discounts for the boat tour.  To get the most out of the Watchman hike at full moon, take it just before sunset, that's when you'll see the shadow of Wizard Island stretch across the lake as the sun reaches the horizon.  Then, look to the east and watch the moon rise just as the sunsets.

Is It "Elitist" To Try to Visit All 58 National Parks?

May 31st - 13:53pm | Cindy

As someone above mentioned, not all of us are physically fit enough to visit the parks as Mr. Goetzman seems to have indicated we should.  My husband and I have visited over 20 of the parks and many more of the sites, driving as much as we could and walking as much as we could.  But at 65 and 85, there isn't much walking going on.

May 31st - 11:51am | Fortunate

While it might not be elitist to visit all National Parks, those who can manage it are certainly fortunate.  I spent four years in Alaska and I couldn't afford to visit more than a handful.  I had to balance trips in state with the need to travel to the outside (medical needs, visiting aging parents, sibling's wedding, etc.).

Exploring The Parks: Yosemite's Roaring Waterfalls

May 30th - 23:29pm | Rudy Stefancik

In the afternoon there is a 20 minute period where there is a 400 ft rainbow across Nevada Falls that can be seen from below the falls on the north side below the bottom of the staircase on the Mist Trail. It is an incredible picture. I got it at 3:15 pm the last week of May. The time varies through the summer as the angle of the sun changes.

Musings From An IMAX Theater: What Did You Think Of "National Parks Adventure"?

May 30th - 19:26pm | Steven Gray

Very disappointing. It seemed like an extreme sports movie sponsored by Subaru. If everyone engaged in these activities, the parks would be ruined in no time. I understand that the mountain biking was outside of Canyon Lands National Park, but then why feature it in the movie?

Yellowstone, Grand Teton Raising Entrance Fees This Summer

May 30th - 12:32pm | Gary Wilson

You're more like a blind puppy fringe group, and far from a watchdog organization with any sort of credibility.  Whatever, dumbo.

May 30th - 11:19am | SmokiesBackpacker

Methinks the unabagger from Idaho doth protest too much.  Love it when the NPS folks get defensive. It means that watchdog groups are rattling the right cages. Padding numbers should be suspect throughout the system if proven in the GRSM, as it has been.  Did you see the comments from the former deputy Super?  Wow, talk about taking it personally.

May 30th - 08:42am | Gary Wilson

John, you have serious reading comprehension problems.  Soufern' Forest Whine can use whatever unscientific measures they want, but that doesn't mean it's "proof" of anything, other than the delusions in your own mind. The park has been very crowded over the last few years.

May 30th - 06:27am | SmokiesBackpacker

The NPS pads numbers to make it look like visitation is increasing.  Here is proof.

May 29th - 18:33pm | PaulAZ

have no doubt we'll see stories later this week about how crowded the Parks are on holiday weekends. What mechanism other than fees ought to be used to regulate the use of these places?

May 29th - 17:07pm | SmokiesBackpacker

Yes.  We already own the NPS.  Problem is, they want to own more of taxpayers hard earned money.  That is the great entitlement mentality if ever there were one.  But I can't live off my wife who works for the NPS so I suppose we have to function in the private sector and actually work away from the taxpayer dime.

May 29th - 13:28pm | Rick B.

Amazing and so predictable.   Emotionally ripping one's own chest hair out in anger over a year old story.

Glacier National Park Turning To Herding Dog To Move Wildlife Away From Humans

May 30th - 11:24am | Alice Biel

FYI, during this pilot project, the dog will NOT be used on the boardwalk or on any other trail. She will be used in the Logan Pass parking lot.

Grand Canyon National Park Also Expecting Crowds For Memorial Day Weekend

May 29th - 21:02pm | Lee Dalton

Some perspective on Grand Canyon from a local newspaper.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide