Thursday, February 5, 2015

Public Open Houses to Welcome New Park Superintendent

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials invite the public to four open house opportunities to meet and welcome new Superintendent Cassius Cash to the Smokies. The open houses will be held in late February from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at each location. Two open houses will be held in North Carolina and two will be held in Tennessee.

Cash most recently served as Superintendent of Boston African American National Historic Site and Boston National Historical Park where he developed many partnerships with the surrounding community. This will be the first opportunity for the public to meet the Superintendent who begins working at the Smokies on February 9th.

“Great Smoky Mountains National Park is surrounded by incredible communities with a long tradition of supporting the park,” said Superintendent Cash. “I look forward to meeting and working with park neighbors as we continue building relationships and partnerships that enable us to protect this special place together.”

The open house events will be held on Tuesday, February 17 at the Oconaluftee Administration Building adjacent to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, NC; Thursday, February 19 at the Barn Event Center in Townsend, TN; Tuesday, February 24 at the Historic Calhoun House in Bryson City, NC; and Thursday, February 26 at the Calhoun’s Banquet Room in Gatlinburg, TN.

The open house events are hosted by Friends of the Smokies, Great Smoky Mountains Association, the Townsend-Walland Business Alliance, the City of Townsend, and the Historic Calhoun House. Light refreshments will be served from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.



John Quillen said...

Supt Cash would make a big splash
if he decided to nix
the fee for sleeping in the stix.

He could provide an annual fee
for frequent visitors of the backcountree

But he is beholden to the bureau
So I'm guessing its a nogo.

The Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

Pretty good, pretty good...

Unfortunately I think this is the trend. I've seen a few other parks join the ranks of backcountry fees, including Yellowstone, which just announced yesterday:

John Quillen said...

Yes, it is a trend. However, most other National Parks at least provide a break for the elderly, scout groups and frequent fliers in terms of annual backpacking passes. Former Smokies head, Dale Ditmanson said he would make no concessions to anyone (but concessionaires, of course who have their own private login to the backcountry reservation system and are apparently manipulating it to their advantage) I think he was relying on the ignorance of locals with regard to how the fees are managed elsewhere in the system. Of course, elsewhere in the system, public pushback helped stop fees such as the present situation at at Chesapeake and Ohio Canal where they dropped fee increases last week. Cash has an opportunity here to rebuild some of the damaged trust between locals and the NPS. But I don't expect anything from these upper echelon guys. They have to ask for permission from Jarvis before making any significant decisions.