Public Papers and Letters of Oliver Max Gardner: Governor of North Carolina, 1929-1933

By Edwin Gill; David Leroy Corbitt | Go to book overview

the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The accomplishment of this endeavor has not been reached without its trials, back-sets, and disappointments; but with the consummation of our labors and hopes, we can see the end just around the corner.

We face now the problem of preparing to reap the benefits of this realized dream. Too often, we are prone to sit back with complacency before our task is completed. Too often, we fail to follow up our advantage and reap the full reward of our victories. This stage of the campaign in which we now find ourselves we may call, in the language of the late war, "mopping up."

Only a few years ago did the movement to incorporate the Great Smoky Mountains into the National Park System assume tangible proportions. It followed an expressed desire on the part of the Secretary of the Interior of the United States to acquire an area in the Southern Appalachians for this system which would meet the standards of the other great units. The special session of the General Assembly of North Carolina in 1924 created the North Carolina Park Commission, and the Assembly of 1927 continued this body under "An Act to Provide for the Acquisition of Parks and Recreational Facilities in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina." Of course, the movement to establish a great national park in North Carolina had its beginnings in the minds of leaders before the State first took official action, and may I here say that they as pioneers in the long program deserve the homage of the State and Nation.

Today, as I have just said, we see the task almost completed. Latest reports show that only 53,313 acres remain to be acquired in the park area to bring the total to the minimum area of 427,000 acres required by the Federal government. To date, the North Carolina Park Commission has deeded to the government a total of 138,643 acres with condemnation pro

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