Feds favor Swain payout in 'Road to Nowhere' case

Full story: Asheville Citizen-Times

The federal government has recommended a financial settlement to Swain County in lieu of building the North Shore Road, sometimes called "the Road to Nowhere," through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Comments
1 - 20 of 48 Comments Last updated Jul 2, 2008
First Prev
of 3
Next Last
James Clampitt

United States

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#1
Oct 3, 2007
 
Burr Calls for Consensus on Future of North Shore Road Without consensus, road agreement is “only fair option”

October 2nd, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C.- U.S. Senator Richard Burr today called for local communities to reach a consensus on the future of the North Shore Road. Burr’s statement comes on the day the Department of the Interior (DOI) released its long-awaited Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a major milestone in a six-year effort to determine the environmental effects of the planned road.“The Department of the Interior’s environmental report on the North Shore Road is another step in this long process,” Burr said.“But until there is consensus among the local communities to do anything other than build the road, I believe the existing plan should continue. Right now, there is no clear consensus within Swain County about changing the 1943 agreement, and without all four parties agreeing to a change, the 1943 agreement to build a road is the only fair option,” Burr added. The North Shore Road agreement dates back to 1943, when the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) sought to build a dam on the Little Tennessee River. Under the memorandum of agreement, Swain County and the State of North Carolina agreed to give the TVA over 44,000 acres in property. In return for their property, TVA and DOI agreed to construct a road along the north shore of the new reservoir to replace Highway 228, which was flooded as a result of dam construction. The road has yet to be built, leaving the citizens of Swain County uncompensated for their losses.
James Clampitt

United States

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#2
Oct 3, 2007
 
Just an observation from an ol’ country farm boy, that did go to the city once and did get a diploma:
The people whom oppose the building of the road, North Shore Road in Swain County, say the costs are too high, you need to think here a bit. There is no real substance to the EIS study to say there is any detrimental impact to the region other than positive economics, accessibility to a region rich in history, archaeological sites (most of which have not been recorded), many structures still standing (after 60+ years), family burial grounds (which according to the Native American Burial Grounds Act) is required to have an adequate access. And that the bottom line is the contract is 64 years old and that in itself qualifies that it is “out of date” and does not have to be honored.
All this to say: Has everyone forgot the year the words were penned to the Declaration of Independence? It seems so, for me the date of July 4, 1776 comes to mind, and I believe that July 4, 1976, which was in my lifetime, there was a grand nationwide celebration of this county’s birth was held. Today, in 2007 the document for “Freedom” is 231 years old. The Federal government back then also saw the need to protect its people from the dictators of the past. So, The New United States of America adopted the Bill of Rights, December 15, 1791. By my math that is 216 years ago. Can you name any “one” of these rights. If you cannot, your life is in a void, no doubt. Our Supreme Court has its checks and balances, which are all controlled by the “Bill of Rights”. All the rights and privileges that are wrought to you are from the “Bill of Rights”. I’ll just give you one to think on; Amendment IV,“The right of the people to secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”. For those individuals that held on to what little they had at that time, had their property “seized” and literally left their habitat with the water encroaching on their doorstep and the clothes on their back. To say the contract is “old and outdated”, the “Bill of Rights” is a contract by our Federal Government to its people, and yes it is still in effect today, 216 years later. I will not say that our Federal Government is flawless or has no shortcomings, but, that is why we have “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” and I for one, believe that the written “Memorandum of Agreement of July 30, 1943” is a legal and binding contract just as much so as the “Bill of Rights” passage, December 15, 1791 is a written legal binding contract of the Federal Government to its people then, as well as today in the year of our Lord 2007.
Hometown, gown, reared and back home again.
Mike Clampitt,If you want a copy of the ’43 Agreement or the “Bill of Rights”, or both, I will mail you at NO charge if you will send me your mailing address.

“No More Settlement”

Since: Feb 07

Location hidden

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#3
Oct 3, 2007
 
The contract as stands now did include a payment to Swain of the $400,000.00 range. This payment is unaccounted for and no other payments other than the completion of the road are now due.
The people of the county were turned down for an open meeting for Swain input,and as in the past, the people have never had a say one way or the other on the issue and as one of the four parties to the agreement of 1943, the people should be heard .
John Herrin Swain County

Louisville, KY

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#4
Oct 3, 2007
 
Why should we continue to have faith in this country if it cannot carry through with commitment. Granted the issue of the road has it's detriments but as well it has it's positive points also. But to just put a price on it and wave the hand in a sort of take or leave it mentality is not only shameful but down right rude. Does the Road have value to County? Yes. Is the compensation being offered justifiable? Not really, considering that the number was thrown out 20 years ago and never adjusted.
I personally think the Contract should be honored and the Road built, however if it is not to be then a real deal should be struck with real number. Given that the road is projected to cost 600 million then why not offer a settlement of say 35% of the projected cost. This is a real number and worth every penny if the Government expects Swain County to take it standing up,$210,000,000.00. By the way the terms should be LUMP SUM, CASH MONEY. No that they shouldn't trust anyone but we're dealing with the Government.
Compromise

Asheville, NC

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#5
Oct 3, 2007
 
I always wonder if they could find a compromise by clearing some sort of unpaved service road that would allow access, but cost less and cause less damage. I don't know the specific terrain, only the part where it trails off.
John Ensley

United States

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#6
Oct 3, 2007
 
This is just another raw deal from big brother. It was a raw deal when the land was taken from my mom's family and nothing has changed. Most of the peopl against the road have no ties to it at all. But some of them do have $'s in their eyes. If they were interested in the good of the county they would realize the road could provide a way for more people to visit and spend money there. This would benefit the county much longer than the money would last. But alas! Just like big brother, heritage means nothing anymore. I am ashamed of the people in Swain county that support taking the money that have families that were part of that region. And those that don't should have no say in the matter anyway.
Don Yelton

United States

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#7
Oct 3, 2007
 
Compromise you are dead on. We the taxpayers have paid millions to design low maintainence roads at the Robbinsville Cowetta Experimental Forestry area. We can build an access road environmentally sound and use it as a demonstration on how to do it..

The problem is that the politicians only know one solution and that is spend our money. In simple terms they want to buy their way our and not work their way out.

What about commitment does our current elected critters not understand. Build the damn thing and do it economically and environmentally correct. Let the folks that were promised the road use it for free and if other want to use it for camping etc. have a fee. What a novel idea.

To bad we do not have a country boy(s) or country girl(s) running the show. Get rid of the money hungry political critters.

Smell the Glove

New York, NY

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#8
Oct 3, 2007
 
Wouldn't it be simpler and less environmentally intrusive to build a road and bridge across Fontana Lake from NC 28 rather than building the "Road to Nowhere" from Bryson City? If the issue is truly acccess to the old homesteads and burial sites, wouldn't this idea accomplish it without going through much of the park? Has this idea been brought up?
KSB

Leicester, NC

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#9
Oct 3, 2007
 
Why not ask direct descendants of those promised a road what they want? It seems to me that it is no one else's business and it should not matter the cost. Those people were promised something they never received. Even if the county gets a big settlement, those who still wish to visit the burial sites of their ancestors will still have to travel by boat and hike back into the forest. My friends grandmother did this very thing well into her ninetys. What a shame for an old lady who just wanted to honor her dead! Shame on our government once again. And we wonder why this generation doesn't want to be accountable for their own actions.
Nancy

United States

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#10
Oct 3, 2007
 
It is strange how Tennessee got its "around the park" roads built on their side of the Park an the NC side did not. For every tourism $1 spent in NC,$14 is spent in TN. TN has access to its tourism, historical sites in the Park, NC does not. The road will not harm the environment nor will it cost the $600 million that the Park Service says it will cost. Just more propaganda to stop the road. BUILD THE ROAD!!!!
Russell Breedlove

United States

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#11
Oct 3, 2007
 
This is really very simple. There are only two choices left; take the cash settlement or get nothing at all.
It is pointless to argue the merits of building the road. It won't be built, period. Folks who say they never had the chance to speak out about the road are not telling the entire truth. There were 10 public meetings where people could say anything thay wanted. There was a long period of time where public comments were solicited by dictation, mail, or email, and the results were overwhelmingly in favor of taking the settlement.
I keep hearing from the road supporters that this is America, and that the rights of the people ought not be infringed upon. May I remind those folk that this is indeed a democracy, where the will of the majority is the law of the land. Well, the majority has spoken, and they have repeatedly shown that they prefer the cash settlement. So it is time for the road supporters to bow to the will of the majority, as we are a democracy, accept that the majority want the settlement, and quit fighting the cash settlement, or we risk getting nothing at all. If the voters in 2000 had kept saying that Al Gore was elected president(since he got more votes that George Bush did), we would be paralyzed, and our whole democratic system of government would break down. Instead, the Gore supporters acknowledged that the election was over, and did not fight the inauguration of Mr. Bush. This is how democracy works. The road supporters can "secede from the union" or accept that the majority rules.
As far as "the money" goes, the displaced settlers were paid for their land, whether the settlement was fair or not is a moot point. It is Swain County, and not the North Shore people that have been wronged in this situation. The North Shore folk don't have any special claim, as the Supreme Court decided in the 80's.
I sympathize with the old folk who have worked for decades to get the road. Life is sometimes unfair. But don't compound the situation by denying your children and grandchildren an opportunity to get *something* out of this mess rather than nothing.
EBCI enrolled member

United States

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#12
Oct 3, 2007
 
This appears to be an accurate depiction of US/NC-State Government policy that Cherokee Indians have experienced for centuries. We have given up all but a fraction of our land to someone who obviously knows more of what we need than we do. It has been our experience that a few payoffs from the feds to the right people in our local gov't/tribal council/Chief can cause the "thorn in the side" opposition to be out-voted, even though the officials were elected to look out for local interests. It seems that the loyalty lies with the money instead of the people they represent. Even selected pay-outs, where large sums of money was given for resolution of treaties that were broken, was mysteriously swollowed into the local budget never to be heard of again. My opinion is to build the road so our locals can visit the graves and land of their fore-fathers. Government only makes sense when it is useful to its constituents.
EBCI enrolled member

United States

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#14
Oct 3, 2007
 
I am from Cherokee, not from Balsam as is given for my home area.
il couco

United States

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#15
Oct 3, 2007
 
cool turtle!!
swain native

United States

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#16
Oct 3, 2007
 
Russell Breedlove wrote:
This is really very simple. There are only two choices left; take the cash settlement or get nothing at all.
It is pointless to argue the merits of building the road. It won't be built, period. Folks who say they never had the chance to speak out about the road are not telling the entire truth. There were 10 public meetings where people could say anything thay wanted. There was a long period of time where public comments were solicited by dictation, mail, or email, and the results were overwhelmingly in favor of taking the settlement.
I keep hearing from the road supporters that this is America, and that the rights of the people ought not be infringed upon. May I remind those folk that this is indeed a democracy, where the will of the majority is the law of the land. Well, the majority has spoken, and they have repeatedly shown that they prefer the cash settlement. So it is time for the road supporters to bow to the will of the majority, as we are a democracy, accept that the majority want the settlement, and quit fighting the cash settlement, or we risk getting nothing at all. If the voters in 2000 had kept saying that Al Gore was elected president(since he got more votes that George Bush did), we would be paralyzed, and our whole democratic system of government would break down. Instead, the Gore supporters acknowledged that the election was over, and did not fight the inauguration of Mr. Bush. This is how democracy works. The road supporters can "secede from the union" or accept that the majority rules.
As far as "the money" goes, the displaced settlers were paid for their land, whether the settlement was fair or not is a moot point. It is Swain County, and not the North Shore people that have been wronged in this situation. The North Shore folk don't have any special claim, as the Supreme Court decided in the 80's.
I sympathize with the old folk who have worked for decades to get the road. Life is sometimes unfair. But don't compound the situation by denying your children and grandchildren an opportunity to get *something* out of this mess rather than nothing.
The public meetings were for ARCADIS, that were hired by the Park for input into the {DEIS} environmental study that was being performed at that time.It was not a "vote" for or against the road.The people that was "evicted" from their home NEVER had a say.Only Swain County people sacrificed for this park..The promise was made to SWAIN COUNTY..Not the environmentalists across the country.!ITs time swain county was heard.!The DEIS says there was nothing found that would harm the "integreity of the park or AT."It also says that a cash settlement of 52 million managed well could bring $140,000 per year in net retail sales but a completed northshore road could expect$ 14,270,000 per year.A road is forever !The northshore people 'ARE" swain county people.Only a fulfillment of the 1943 agreement will ever compensate for our loss & sacrifice !!!
Russell Breedlove

United States

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#17
Oct 3, 2007
 
Let's get the math straight. If Swain County got $14,700,000 in retail sales per year, that works out to $220,500 per year to Swain County at a rate of 1.5%(current rate). In addition, we'd have to put up with all the traffic and upheaval the completed road would bring. If the $52 million were invested at 5% per year, that gives Swain County $2,600,000 per year.....more than 10 times as much....and we wouldn't have to change a thing.
The public meetings were not for Arcadis, they were simply organized by Arcadis. People had their say in front of their peers, the Park Service, and the public.
EBCI enrolled member

United States

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#18
Oct 3, 2007
 
We may have been raised in the mountains but we are not stupid. We knew better than to allow prayer to be take out of schools, the ten commandments to be removed from the courthouses, not being able to spank our kids, wanting to remove "Under God" and "In God we Trust", but convincing our children not to trust the very government that they are willing to give their lives for; how far will we roll-over for the corruption of our values and heritage?
Native

Cayce, SC

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#20
Oct 3, 2007
 
Russell Breedlove wrote:
This is really very simple. There are only two choices left; take the cash settlement or get nothing at all.
It is pointless to argue the merits of building the road. It won't be built, period. Folks who say they never had the chance to speak out about the road are not telling the entire truth. There were 10 public meetings where people could say anything thay wanted. There was a long period of time where public comments were solicited by dictation, mail, or email, and the results were overwhelmingly in favor of taking the settlement.
I keep hearing from the road supporters that this is America, and that the rights of the people ought not be infringed upon. May I remind those folk that this is indeed a democracy, where the will of the majority is the law of the land. Well, the majority has spoken, and they have repeatedly shown that they prefer the cash settlement. So it is time for the road supporters to bow to the will of the majority, as we are a democracy, accept that the majority want the settlement, and quit fighting the cash settlement, or we risk getting nothing at all. If the voters in 2000 had kept saying that Al Gore was elected president(since he got more votes that George Bush did), we would be paralyzed, and our whole democratic system of government would break down. Instead, the Gore supporters acknowledged that the election was over, and did not fight the inauguration of Mr. Bush. This is how democracy works. The road supporters can "secede from the union" or accept that the majority rules.
As far as "the money" goes, the displaced settlers were paid for their land, whether the settlement was fair or not is a moot point. It is Swain County, and not the North Shore people that have been wronged in this situation. The North Shore folk don't have any special claim, as the Supreme Court decided in the 80's.
I sympathize with the old folk who have worked for decades to get the road. Life is sometimes unfair. But don't compound the situation by denying your children and grandchildren an opportunity to get *something* out of this mess rather than nothing.
Hate to bust your bubble, but we have a Republic form of Government, not a Democracy.
wow

Anderson, SC

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#21
Oct 3, 2007
 
EBCI enrolled member wrote:
We may have been raised in the mountains but we are not stupid. We knew better than to allow prayer to be take out of schools, the ten commandments to be removed from the courthouses, not being able to spank our kids, wanting to remove "Under God" and "In God we Trust", but convincing our children not to trust the very government that they are willing to give their lives for; how far will we roll-over for the corruption of our values and heritage?
Funny, this is exactly what the insurgents in Iraq say. You sure have allot in common with people we are trying to extinguish.
Russell Breedlove

United States

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#22
Oct 3, 2007
 
Native wrote:
<quoted text>
Hate to bust your bubble, but we have a Republic form of Government, not a Democracy.
A small distinction; true democracy would not work simply because of the impossibility of every person voting on every issue. In a republic, the representatives of the people vote the way their constituents want them to.....otherwise they quickly get voted out.

Tell me when this thread is updated: (Registration is not required)

Add to my Tracker Send me an email

First Prev
of 3
Next Last
Type in your comments below
Name
(appears on your post)
Comments
Characters left: 4000
Type the numbers you see in the image on the right:

Please note by clicking on "Post Comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Other Recent Swain County Discussions

Search the Swain County Forum:
Title Updated Last By Comments
Tourism Board meets, provides presentation to P... Jul 13 Dave 2
Mike Clampitt announces run for Statehouse in D... (Feb '12) Jul 9 Braindead 3
Swain County Music Thread (Nov '13) Apr '14 Musikologist 3
Swain man charged with child sex crimes (Apr '10) Apr '14 Was NC Now Floridian 8
Swain at last makes foray into animal control (Oct '09) Mar '14 Outside looking in 17
Sheriffs Election in Swain County for 2014 Mar '14 Kevin 2
Abandoned dogs found in trash bin (Mar '13) Jan '14 DarkBranch 2
•••
•••
Enter and win $5000
•••
•••