Traveler's View: Congress, National Park Service Need To Restructure Fees For Centennial Celebration
"Mountaineers are always free" is West Virginia's state motto, but that sentiment is getting harder and harder to find in the National Park System, where an imbalance in fee structures charges you for sleeping on the bare ground but not for burning gas as you negotiate the 11-mile loop of Cades Cove.
What authority does the National Park Service have to charge access fees in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and, presumably, other national parks? That question is the focus of a lawsuit filed in a bid to overturn the Smokies' move to charge backcountry users.
Spring break is commencing at colleges around the country, and for more than 200 students that means a trip not to the beach, but to a national park to participate either in the National Park Service Academy or an "Alternative Spring Break" program in parks.
It's not on the same scale as the Boston Tea Party, but the sentiment is there: Don't tax us for using the backcountry of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Opponents to the backcountry fee at Great Smoky Mountains National Park are trying to line up the support of county officials surrounding the park.
Visitor Access To Yellowstone, Cape Cod, Grand Canyon, Other National Parks Could Be Limited By Looming Sequestration
Failure by Congress to avert a sweeping budget cut across all government agencies stands to will cut your views of the Grand Canyon, limit your access to Cape Cod National Seashore's beaches, and delay the opening of Yellowstone National Park this spring.