Alexander: For Surrounding Communities, Smokies Closing “Is Like a BP Oil Spill for the Gulf”

Says he’s working with Gov. Haslam, compliments local mayors for their efforts during closure

Posted on October 11, 2013

***

“I voted against shutting down the government, and I’m doing all I can to reopen it.” – Lamar Alexander

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said he spoke today with Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell and Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters about the closure of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and other national parks during the government shutdown, saying that for surrounding communities “the Smokies closing is like a BP oil spill for the Gulf.”

“I voted against shutting down the government, and I’m doing all I can to reopen it,” Alexander said. “I’m working with Gov. Haslam, and I appreciate what local mayors are doing in the meantime to relieve the pain on communities around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and other national parks. For these surrounding communities, the Smokies closing is like a BP oil spill for the Gulf. This is the prime tourist season for the Smokies, when many of the small businesses around the park make most of their money.”

Alexander said the shutdown of the federal government has impacted Tennessee’s other national park facilities in addition to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, including Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park.

 

# # #