July 13, 2021
From NPS Report
GATLINBURG, Tenn. – The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public input on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Laurel Falls Trail Management Plan. The plan will address visitor experience and safety, parking, and trail infrastructure rehabilitation for the most visited trail in the park.
Initial public commenting on the Laurel Falls Trail Management Plan is open from July 8, 2021 through August 7, 2021 and includes opportunities to submit written comments and participate in a public meeting, held virtually. The information obtained during this civic engagement period will be used to identify and refine the elements and alternatives under consideration.
“We are pleased to offer this opportunity to learn from our visitors about how we can address the preservation and viability of Laurel Falls Trail,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash.
A virtual public meeting to discuss the Laurel Falls Trail Management Plan and answer any questions about the process will take place on Wednesday, July 22 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. (ET). During the first 30 minutes of the meeting, the NPS will present an overview of the proposal with the remainder of the meeting reserved for a question and answer session. It is recommended that participants join the meeting 5 to 10 minutes early to test audio and internet connections. Additionally, participants are welcome to call in on listen only mode, and not view the presentation, by dialing (312) 626-6799 and entering passcode 83225451780#.
The NPS will also accept written comments online or by postal mail for consideration on the plan’s initial draft. Comments may be submitted:
Online (the preferred method) Visit https://parkplanning.nps.gov/LaurelFalls
Select “Open for Comment” on the left menu bar, open the Laurel Falls Trail Management Plan folder and click on the green “Comment Now” button to access the online commenting form; or by postal mail. Send comments to:
Superintendent Cassius Cash
Attn: Laurel Falls Trail Management Plan
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
107 Park Headquarters Rd.
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Written comments on the initial draft of the Laurel Falls Trail Management Plan must be submitted online or be postmarked by Aug. 7, 2021 to be considered.
For more information about the proposed Laurel Falls Trail Management Plan, including public meeting details, virtual long-in instructions and more, visit the planning website at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/LaurelFalls.