— DJ Gerken, Southern Environmental Law Center, Asheville
“As a Swain County native, I have a deep, personal understanding of the issues and emotions surrounding the North Shore Road. This issue has divided Swain County and much of Western North Carolina for over 60 years, and I am very encouraged that today’s announcement signals that a resolution is near.
“A monetary settlement between the federal government and Swain County will protect the undisturbed forests and streams of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and save the American taxpayers millions of dollars.
“In the months ahead, I will continue to work closely with all the parties involved to bring much needed closure as quickly as possible to this issue.”
— Congressman Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville
“A cash settlement is a winning solution not only for Swain County, but also for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Halting construction of the road absolutely protects the integrity of the national park, immediately benefits Swain County, and it saves taxpayers more than half a billion dollars.”
— Greg Kidd, National Parks Conservation Association, Asheville