Dec. 3, 2021
BAR HARBOR, ME – According to sources familiar with the situation, the National Surplus Management Agency’s next project seeks to turn Maine’s Acadia National Park into a high-income city.
The bold plan hopes to attract a city of people to the popular coastal island.
Being a popular tourist destination for Americans in the Northeast United States, the NSMA source indicated that the brand new city hopes to attract the country’s wealthiest people to the scenic, oceanfront area.
“All indications point to a sort of pop-up city for the rich and famous to enjoy this gorgeous area of our country with all of the resources and excitement of big city life,” said the source, who spoke on a condition of anonymity.
The NSMA announced they will unveil the plans for a project in Maine near Christmastime last week, which led groups like America Needs Park to begin mobilizing to protest it.
When informed of the news on Wednesday, Graham Hodgson, the America Needs Parks co-founder, was surprised of the plan and was dumbfounded by the decision.
“While all of the NSMA projects are equally deplorable in their effects on our National Parks, this one is even more puzzling,” he said. “Like, why? Why do we need another city in this country? And why at Acadia? It just doesn’t make sense.”
While the White House declined to comment on the reporting on Wednesday, far-right Republicans and Tea Party members have expressed similar confusion and even some outrage at the idea.
“Why the government thinks it should busy itself building a new city is beyond ridiculous,” said Rep. Stefan Mateau (R-ME). “If this is true, the voters who sent me to Washington are going to be furious and you can expect to see them there when that atrocity is announced.”
When reached for comment, NSMA Director Jeff McIntosh would not signal either way if the Acadia urban development plan was indeed what will be announced later this month.
However, when asked if he thought such an idea would be a positive one, he said that a project like that would be “an incredible job-producer, if you think about it.”
While McIntosh’s comments seem to hint at some talking points surely to be disseminated by the NSMA later this month when they unveil the official plan, one very specific group of politicians are furious at the prospect of a new city.
“We have an opioid epidemic, extreme poverty, crumbling schools and deteriorating infrastructure in New York City. Why on earth are we adding a city to this country when our existing ones need so much work,” said New York Mayor Emma Smith of the possibility of the plan.
Smith went on to say that she hopes the Acadia urban development plan never comes to fruition and said she “would not be surprised if thousands of New Yorkers show up for the announcement” scheduled for later this month.
Mayors in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Baltimore all expressed similar frustration with the potential for this plan as well.
Beyond the redirecting of urban development funding to this new city project, America Needs Parks and other environmental groups have come out against the prospect demolishing Acadia’s natural resources.
“Acadia National Park is a stunning place,” said Lydia Lucy, a Maine-based environmental activist. “This country’s Atlantic Coast is a treasure and deserves to be preserved.”
Lucy, who has already cemented plans to join a protest inside the gates of Acadia organized by America Needs Parks through social media, thinks that this protest could gain a large amount of traction.
“As far as I can tell, the gates are still open until they announce the plans, so I plan to go camp out there and see if they want to try and move me,” she chuckled. “I know I won’t be alone.”
Hodgson, normally weary of far-right politics, said that the usual environmental protestors like Lucy and his members could be joined by the likes of Mateau and his constituents in battling this proposal.
“It’s just a terrible idea,” said Mateau. “If you can’t get support from anyone, then how is it going to work?”
In addition to the right-leaning reinforcements Hodgson expects for the protest, he also thinks that the location of Acadia will attract new protestors that were perhaps turned off by the travel required for the Wyoming, California, Florida and Hawai’i protests.
“I think the people in this area are hungry to get involved,” said Hodgson. “All our protestors are great, but it will be great to get some new energy in here, too. It’s all about putting the pressure on the NSMA and we intend to do so.”