Many claims are out there that a proposed second National Park in Maine will be an economic engine that will revitalize the economy, and get people off of social programs and back working again.
We all have heard the statement about Maine being a welfare state: Source
And the subsequent apology; Source
But lets think about that for a second – certainly statistics show that Maine has a high number of folks on welfare – the current state of the economy has hit everyone hard. But, Maine is fortunate enough to have Acadia National Park!!!! A National Park that has created jobs and research and all these wonderful things – certainly it has revitalized and grown the economy in that region and given people employment!!? Right??? The source of the data below is MaineOpenGov.org, and states the percentage of the population of the town using a welfare program -
Lets take a look at the towns in Hancock County that are within the shortest driving distance to Acadia National Park;
Municipality,Sum (Welfare_Program_Percent_Population) Sullivan,60.5% Eastbrook,58.0% Franklin,56.0% Ellsworth,54.7% Swans Island,53.5% Hancock,49.6% Mariaville,48.4% Waltham,44.4% Gouldsboro,42.3% Winter Harbor,35.8% Cranberry Isles,34.0% Southwest Harbor,32.9% Trenton,32.0% Lamoine,26.7% Bar Harbor,23.4% Tremont,22.9% And lets pick another county - How about a few towns in Cumberland for an example;
Municipality,Sum (Welfare_Program_Percent_Population) South Portland,33.3% Windham,32.1% New Gloucester,31.7% Gray,28.5% Standish,27.5% Brunswick,27.0% Freeport,25.6% Long Island,24.5% Peaks Island,24.4% Gorham,24.0% Raymond,23.0% Harpswell,20.2% Pownal,19.4% Scarborough,16.3% Yarmouth,14.4% North Yarmouth,11.3% Falmouth,11.1% Cape Elizabeth,10.3% Cumberland,8.9%
How do the numbers look to you? Revitalized? Lots of jobs near Acadia National Park being filled?
Acadia only directly employs 100 permanent and 130 seasonal employees. See the Source of that figure, and most of those are not filled with locals, nor are the surrounding indirect jobs that dry up every fall. The old Bar Harbor joke is I landed in town and never made enough money to leave.
A ~ 70,000 acre National Park will do nothing for the economy. There are alternatives and compromises that would.
No Park for ME