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Re: GMSNP & Rangers

In a message dated 96-05-01 16:33:55 EDT, you write:

Roger Bolton wrote:

"On both of my last 2 trips in the Smokies I've came across Rangers checking
permits and issuing fines.  I really hate this type of regulation, but
something about calling a place a National Park seems to get it "loved" too

I to have run across a backcountry ranger (he was on horseback checking
permits). With ever increasing use of the A.T. and its increasing recognition
within the National Park Service organization as a National Park in its own
right, is this the shape of things to come? Does the trail have a maximum
carrying capacity for given areas? What do we do when that is routinely met
and surpassed?

I don't have any answers to this, only questions. But they are questions that
all of us who love the A.T. will need to wrestle with as more and more people
venture onto the trail. I realize that this effects some areas of the trail
more than others, but how do we manage the impacts on Franconia Ridge in New
Hampshire or even Blood Mountain in Georgia or any of a couple of dozen other
well-used areas without infringing on the "wild" experience a hike on the
A.T. should be?