GATLINBURG (AP) - A new report by the National Parks Conservation Association on the future of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park paints a dire picture.
High ozone levels, acid rain, continued underfunding and a proposed road on the north shore of Fontana Lake in North Carolina are combining to endanger the park's future.
Much of the damage could be slowed or prevented if certain steps are taken, he said, including rigorous enforcement of the federal Clean Air Act and increasing the park's budget.
There had been no previous systemic, park-wide scientific study to provide a benchmark for future recommendations for the Smokies before Wednesday's report. The public was forced to rely on conflicting findings of various groups, scientists and organizations when trying to evaluate the park's ecosystem.