Keep N.C. artifacts on N.C. side of the Smokies

To the Editor:

For the last two weeks I have been hearing about artifacts donated to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by Swain County citizens being moved to Tennessee to a new proposed curatorial collections facility being built there. The money to build this, from my understanding, was put in the federal budget by a Tennessee senator for Tennessee only.

Several local Swain County organizations, along with the Swain County commissioners, are writing letters to the national park asking for this facility to be built in Swain County since we have 43 percent of the park in Swain County and more than 51 percent of the park in North Carolina. This is a great concern to me considering all that has been taken from Swain County by the national park.

Another concern I have about the national park is much simpler: we cannot even get the overlooks or the grass cut on the Road to Nowhere. If you go over to Tennessee across the mountain you do not see this problem. Why is that?

Another concern I have is the national park is now wanting to charge our local backcountry campers to use our park. How much more does Swain County have to give before our citizens stand up and say enough is enough.

David Monteith,

Swain County commissioner

Bryson City

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