The calendar may show it's spring, but you wouldn't know it by conditions across much of the country this week. Among the areas where winter just won't let go is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where a recent snowstorm will delay the planned spring opening of the road to Clingmans Dome.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Another county whose lands include Great Smoky Mountains National Park has gone on record opposing the park's fee for overnight backcountry use.
Three front-country campgrounds at Great Smoky Mountains National Park won't open this year due to the budget cuts brought on by the federal government's inability to resolve taxing and spending differences.
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 must be tough to be a snowshoe manufacturer. Since most recreational shoes moved away from wooden frames to aluminum ones, their lifespan went up incredibly. But that doesn't mean it might not be time for you to upgrade to one of the latest models.
Fewer rangers for search-and-rescue missions, closed campgrounds, and possibly more devastating forest fires are facing the National Park Service as a result of the looming budget fiasco, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said Monday.
A Grand Canyon National Park ranger, one who you might see dangling from a helicopter to help an injured visitor, has been honored as the National Park Service's top ranger.
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.