PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Two studies commissioned by a foundation set up by millionaire Roxanne Quimby suggest communities near national parks outpace the national average for economic development.
Elliotsville Plantation, which is considering donating more than 70,000 acres to create a national park, commissioned the studies to explore the potential economic impact.
Lucas St. Clair, president of the board and Quimby's son, says the reports provide evidence that a national park or a combined national park and recreation area "can help the economy to grow faster."
The reports compare 16 similar communities in the U.S. with a national park, a recreation area, or a combined national park and recreation area.
Quimby's proposal for a northern Maine park has drawn mixed opinions. The National Park Service remains enthusiastic but has taken no formal stance.
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