KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers and the Gatlinburg Police Department issued 25 warnings and 13 citations during a two-day targeted enforcement event aimed at reducing litter in the park.
On Sunday and Monday, motorists traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 441 between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, also known as the Spur, were checked to make sure their trash loads were secured to prevent materials from spilling on to the road and through the park.
“With increasing visitation trends and more use of park roads for business and recreation, we need everyone to do their part to keep our roads litter-free,” Park Superintendent Cassius Cash said. “To protect our scenic values and wildlife, it is vital that we prevent the trash from ever being discarded in a National Park.”
The Spur, a 5-mile section of roadway between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, is traveled by more than 10 million motorists annually and accumulates the largest amount of litter among the National Park’s 384 miles of roads. Additional targeted enforcement dates are also scheduled throughout 2021.
On Tuesday, the park and Keep Sevier Beautiful hosted a volunteer cleanup on the Spur. Volunteers from the Save our Smokies group participated along with additional volunteers for a total of 39 participants. For more information about volunteering in the park, visit the park website.