So a national park in our North Woods would be the economic savior to Maine’s business and employment struggles? Maybe not.

The National Park Service is a government agency. Its funding through appropriations of taxpayer dollars is annually subject to change. NPS is funded at $3.1 billion for 2014 and is forecast to take in receipts of $394 million.

This is the “business” you want to come into Maine? Acadia National Park is one of the nation’s most popular parks and even at government funding of $7.9 million for 2014 and nonprofit assistance from the well-funded Friends of Acadia, the park still has to defer $57 million of required maintenance due to a shortfall in funds.

The NPS budget for 2014 forecasts the reduction of 179 full-time equivalents (people). In the NPS’ 2014 budget, the recurring line item reduction in each subsection of the budget was “Reduce Park Base Operations Funding.”

Again, this is who you want to come into Maine? Acadia reportedly brought in $183 million and 3,000 jobs in 2011. These reports were done by the NPS – not exactly unbiased reporting. The majority of those jobs are seasonal, and the money source was non-local; hence, at best, it is a part-time boost.

One writer suggested a North Woods park would replace the mills’ employing power. So average wages in the support businesses would be $20 to $30 per hour with benefits in year-round employment? I think not.

What Maine needs are business-friendly regulations, permitting (shoreline, pipeline, natural resources, etc.), tax incentives, infrastructure improvements in east-to-west roads and better rail networks.

We all seem to want economic improvements, yet through regulations, we continue to ban or suffocate the business stimulation this state so badly needs.

Andrew P. Soucy