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Heroism and villainy.

The article on the economic benefits of national parks [May/June 2003] is right on target. While our national parks are primarily for the renewal of body and soul, protection of wildlife and open space, and preservation of our heritage, we must never forget that they pump more than $11 billion into local economies each year. This affects positively the lives and well-being of people in those communities, as the writer dearly demonstrates in the case of Acadia National Park.

This is precisely what we expect once the proposed Maine Woods National Park & Preserve is in place, as outlined in our advertisement in the same issue. The grim economic situation in northern Maine continues--mill closures, importating cheap labor, overcutting the forest at the expense of the future workers, and people driven away to find jobs.

The new national park cannot solve all of northern Maine's economic woes, but it will assuredly contribute to a diverse, sustainable economy, as is well-documented across the nation through decent jobs, attracting clean-service industries, and travel spending throughout the region as visitors come to explore this new national gem.

We cite a recent study by Dr. Thomas Power, a national authority on park economies, which verifies that, over a 30-year-period, counties around large national parks had a job growth rate three times the national average and six times higher than the counties of northern Maine; real income growth was twice the national average and triple that of Maine's northern counties.

Those of us serving on Americans for a Maine Woods National Park view this new park as a win-win project that serves the conservation and economic imperatives confronting northern Maine.

Will LaPage

Holden, ME

and

Roxanne Quimby

Winter Harbor, ME
COPYRIGHT 2003 National Parks Conservation Association
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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Privatization and Making the Grade
Author:Will, LaPage; Quimby, Roxanne
Publication:National Parks
Date:Nov 1, 2003
Words:285
Previous Article:Republicans care, too.
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