I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

4/10/17 Success in Opening Crag! SFW proud to be a part of freeing the Rock from Ijam's.   
(alternate website for story if you can't access KNS above)
2/05/15 Let's Freeze Frozen Head's (TN) Backcountry Fee before it starts. Join us in shutting this pig down.
11/13/16  SFW takes issue with closure of Ijams crag to public.
7/6/16 Frontcountry Fee Increase on the way unless..
SFW Questions Backcountry Fees in State of TN
SFW Files Motion to Vacate Fee  7/28/14
SFW Exposes Private Resort Trail System in Smokies
BreakingNews:SFW Lawsuit Proceeds 3/25/14
Our Mission


This was about an entrance Fee.

 Land to create the park was donated by private citizens. Generous individuals, many of them locals, donated money to the land acquisition cause. Moreover, thousands of residents in Tennessee and North Carolina lost their homes, their livelihood, and a cherished way of life in order for the park to be created.  We as taxpayers gave Superintendent Dale Ditmanson  $20.3 million tax dollars annually. One year conferred another $64 million EXTRA stimulus tax dollars to build roads and fix horse trails, now he wants to take more of our money to increase his staff. Isn't that what tax dollars are for in the first place, to support the park? He blew through what amounts to three times his annual budget with no mention of any "backcountry" issues with backpackers. The good ole Smokies 911 Scheme: Tell the public there is a security issue and they will gladly open their wallets. Tennesseans have always been a shrewd bunch. That's why the Tennessee legislature placed a deed restriction on Newfound Gap road before ceding it to the Park Service stipulating that there could never be a toll on this road. Once enacted, this tax on backpackers will, like most toll roads only increase over time. It is a foot in the door for other entrance fees. First backpackers, then horses, hikers and automobiles.  See the actual deed here.


Now be prepared for an entrance fee.  Supt. Cash is making overtures about finagling around the deed restriction. We are staying on top of this new scheme.



Southern Forest Watch was established in 2011 in response to the proposed backcountry fee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Our primary purpose is to stop this illegal backcountry tax in its tracks.


We are a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization recognized by the State of Tennessee and IRS.





Yes. We sued the National Park Service over their backcountry fee.  Our case went all the way to the 6th Circuit in Cincinnatti before being OK'd by federal judges who actually said from the bench, "Well, what is a four dollar fee anyway?"


 Along the way we exposed a crooked system and opened the eyes of many to the machinations and back room dealings of the NPS.  SFW is proud to have challenged this first ever user fee in the "people's park".  We continue to this day making certain taxpayer voices are heard and continue a dialogue with public lands managers.


















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BUMPER STICKERS, great for more than just bumpers!  Slap one on your water bottle, your bike ... the possibilities are endless!


Donate $20 and get 12 stickers

Donate $10 and get 5

We support additional wilderness designation for CNF and the work done by Wildsouth.