The Jefferson Post is reporting that, due to the massive State budget shortfall, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is being asked to prepare budgets with 5%, 10%, and 15% cuts in mind. If the 15% scenario happens, then Mount Jefferson will definitely be closed. It’s not clear whether this means the land would remain in State ownership, although that would likely be the case for a while. Given the lack of widespread public tracts of land north of the Pisgah National Forest area in NC, this would represent a loss for hikers visiting the High Country region of the state.
While I understand the need to cut budgets in lean times, does the park need to be closed? Would you support alternatives, such as reduced hours, reduced services, entrance fees, or the like to save our state Parks?