GSMNP seeks info on sign vandals

Officials in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are looking for any information to help identify whoever vandalized the Foothills Parkway West Entrance Sign near the Highway 321 intersection in Walland sometime late Friday night or early Sunday morning, the 18th and 19th of this month.

In a release asking for the public’s help in identifying the culprits, Park officials say that on Saturday September 19th, at around 7:45 am, “visitors reported seeing a black bear skin with head and a cardboard sign attached to the entrance sign that read ‘from here to the lake black lives don’t matter.’” The investigation is ongoing and no further details will be released at this time, according to the release.

“We encourage anyone with information to reach out to us as we continue to investigate possible motives for this incident.” said Chief Ranger Lisa Hendy. “We take vandalism incidents seriously in the park, and this particular incident is particularly egregious. It is for this reason we are offering a reward for information.” 

Investigators are looking for additional information from anyone who may have observed activity leading to the vandalism. Though respondents may remain anonymous, investigators are offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of those responsible. Respondents are asked to contact investigators through any of the following means: 

  • CALL or TEXT the ISB Tip Line at 888-653-0009 
  • ONLINE at and click “Submit a Tip” 
  • EMAIL [email protected] 
  • MESSAGE on Facebook @InvestigativeServicesNPS or Twitter @SpecialAgentNPS 

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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