A few days ago I received the latest addition of Smokies Life Magazine, a quarterly publication from the Great Smoky Mountains Association. This edition happens to be a special 75th Anniversary issue.
As you might expect, a large portion of the issue is dedicated towards the history and the creation of the national park. In addition to several park history articles, there are many historical photos, as well as a detailed timeline covering key historical events in the park.
Among some of the articles is a short biography on George Masa, known as the “Ansel Adams of the East”, who’s photographs were instrumental in helping for the cause of national park status for the Smokies. Several of Masa’s outstanding photographs are included with the story.
You’ll also find a story discussing the return of wildlife that went missing (or nearly went missing) in the Smokies such as elk, deer, otter, bears, and wild turkey, to name a few.
Finally, there’s an extensive interview with Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson. Although he didn’t say it outright, it sounds like he supports the collection of entrance fees in the future. He said fees are needed to replace and repair the aging park infrastructure. He’s also looking for ways to solve some of the heavy traffic problems, in particular, in Cades Cove. He mentioned using buses as a solution, but cited issues with parking as being problematic.
As I’ve already mentioned in a previous post, Smokies Life Magazine is a high quality publication, one that I highly recommend for anyone who loves the Smokies. You can purchase a copy at some of the visitor centers or through the GSMA website. Or, better yet, you could join the Great Smoky Mountains Association which includes an annual subscription to the magazine.
By becoming a member you’ll also be helping a great cause. Through sales, labor, donations, and volunteer efforts, the Great Smoky Mountains Association provides funds that help with many park expenses. Since its creation in 1953, GSMA has contributed more than $18 million to the park.
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