Opponents to Backcountry Fees Gaining Support

A new fee, $4 per person per night in the backcountry of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, took effect a few weeks ago. The decision to start charging the fee was very controversial — and opponent groups aren’t giving up yet.

According to the National Parks Traveler, a group called Southern Forest Watch, is trying to gain support for its cause by meeting with officials from counties surrounding the Great Smokies.

According to National Parks Traveler:

A park-specific reservation and permit system went live on February 13. It allows backcountry campers to make reservations and obtain permits online from anywhere Internet access is available. Reservations may be made at any time up to 30 days in advance.

Appalachian Trail thru-hikers may obtain a permit through the reservation system up to 30 days in advance of the date they anticipate being in the park and are required to carry a paper copy with them while they are hiking through the park. Their permit is valid up to 38 days from the date they obtain it.

For more information about the controversy, visit National Parks Traveler.


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