Teddy Bear News
Road stopped in Smoky Mountains National Park
Author: teddygirl | Sunday June 13, 2010
The following is from the National Parks Conservation Association, an organization is protecting parks for future generations.
Based on a 1943 agreement made during World War II, the National Park Service began in the 1960s building a replacement road for Swain County along the north shore of Fontana Lake. They abandoned the project after only seven miles due to severe erosion and acidic runoff that wiped out fisheries in several streams.
Still, a number of Swain County residents continued for decades to push for completion of what came to be known as "The Road to Nowhere." In 2001 the threat of starting up construction again became critical when local Congressman Charles Taylor secured $16 million in Transportation Department appropriations for construction of the road.
NPCA responded with a long-term plan to end this threat to the park once and for all. Our Southeast regional office created and managed the Greater Smoky Mountains Coalition--and by working with local communities, regional allies, and at the national level with Congress, NPCA built considerable momentum for a settlement in lieu of building the road.
Now, after years of negotiations, congressional input, and hundreds of letters written from supporters just like you, we finally have a conclusion.
Congressman Heath Shuler (D-NC) of western North Carolina has announced a settlement that brings to a close the decades-long fight to stop a proposed road through the most wild and remote area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
As Don Barger, senior director of NPCA's southeast regional office, noted, "This is one for the history books. The wildest region of the park will stay wild, and future generations will be able to experience its isolation and grandeur."
For more information, visit National Parks Conservation Associations website.