The Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Value to the Public

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A Bit of History: How the Smoky Mountains
Became a National Park

Photographs courtesy of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Service

Cost and Value

All together, the acquisition of land acreage needed to establish the Great Smoky Mountains National Park totaled over $12 million. Looking at it through a present-day lense, the market value would be immeasurable. Still, comparing the value then and now wouldn't be just when you look at what has been created and the land that has been preserved in the form of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The diversity of wildlife, plants (the Park contains more than 1,500 species), recreational opportunities ( more than 800 miles of hiking and horse trails), trout streams, the combination of beautiful valleys such as Cades Cove and high peaks such as Mt. LeConte are just a few of the Park's rare offerings. Whether it's the fiery foliaage of Autumn's splendor, Spring's flouescent renewal, or even the majestic mountain vistas of winter, you know there is no way to possibly place a monetary value on the Park's lands. As a side note, local business interests have to be encouraged. More than 10 million visitors annually trek to the region and revenues are such that the state of Tennessee doesn't have an income tax, due in large part to the ever-growing popularity of the National Park.

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