Saturday, May 19, 2012

Park Service on Smoky Issues

The Maryville Daily Times from Maryville, TN carries "Park spokesman responds to hikers' questions, concerns about backcountry management" based on Buzz Trexler's conversations with Bob Miller, management assistant and spokesman for Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The questions posed are:
  1. Why can through-hikers camp outside when the shelters are full, but not section-hikers? Does it really matter who is being put out to tent?
  2. Why are horses allowed, but not someone’s Brittany spaniel? If it’s because horses are a means of transport, then how can you stop off-road vehicles?
  3. If you can not enforce what shelter policies you currently employ, how will you be able to enforce the pending pay-for-use shelter policy? It seems there are too few rangers.
  4. Some even suggested that perhaps the Park is actually trying to deter backcountry and through-hikers. How do you respond?
See related articles in the paper about a weeklong hike that Trexler and two buddies took toward the end of April aimed at finding out what Bill Bryson and Katz missed when they skipped some of the Smokies.

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