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North Carolina Governor Opposes Road to Nowhere


    Add North Carolina Governor Mike Easley to the list of folks who think it'd be a huge mistake for the National Park Service to build the nearly $600 million "road to nowhere" in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
    In a letter to acting-Interior Secretary Lynn Scarlett, the governor says building the road from Bryson City, N.C., to Fontana Dam not only would run roughshod over the environment but come at a steep cost.
    So for the record, also opposing the road are the commissioners of Swain County, where the proposed road would be located and who believe they'd be much better off with a lump-sum payout of $52 million, and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.
    Backing the road is U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor, R-North Carolina. He maintains that the government should honor a promise it made in 1943 to see that access would be provided to cemeteries isolated by the building of Fontana Dam.
    While environmental groups have said the $52 million payout would be the "environmentally preferred" alternative to building the road, Rep. Taylor maintains that it's nothing more than the "so-called environmentalists' preferred alternative."
    Back in January the Republican issued a release stating that "extreme environmentalist groups have made it perfectly clear that their vision for the park is the only acceptable one, and have fought every opportunity to open the park to the recreation, use and enjoyment of those of us on the North Carolina side.
    "By the government's own definition, walking away from its obligation to meet the terms of the 1943 agreement does nothing to 'protect, preserve or enhance' the historic or cultural resources of Swain County. That is not 'preferred' by anyone in North Carolina."
    Isn't Mike Easley from North Carolina? And does his opposition to the road make him an "extreme environmentalist"?

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