There will be a "National Summit For Gateway Communities" in West Virginia this December. While this may look like a benign get together, it really is an ominous forecast of what plans lay ahead for communities like Island Park.
The sponsors and planning committee of this summit include the Federal Highway Administration, Future West, several federal resource agencies, conservation groups, and Urban Land Institute. Some of the topics for this summit include:
Now just exactly what is a gateway community? According to this website, PlannersWeb, a gateway community is "Americans...heading for the communities that serve as the gateways to our national parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands", "are important not just because they provide food and lodging for Americans on their way to visit national parks and other public lands"..."are also portals to our most cherished landscapes." and "define the park experience for many visitors." As with every other phony crisis being thrown our way, now allegedly, so are small rural communities close to protected areas, described as being overwhelmed by "haphazard growth, feeling "helpless" with change, and development ruining habitat.
With this phony crisis, of course there has to be some experts from the outside swooping in to rescue these poor communities. So this website is for city planners to learn the proper tools on how to help their community cope with the travesties laid out for them by these experts. That is the essence of the summit's purpose, these organizations planning how to swoop in and lead small communities in the right direction. Transportation is a major key to this and is why the Federal Highway Administration is one of the sponsors. Wildlife overpasses are part of this transportation plan because in order to get people to their tourist destination, in Island Park's case Yellowstone, a safe passage must be built. Future West is involved because they are the expert for the "future where communities have a shared sense of place, robust economies, and sound stewardship of natural, cultural, and community assets." The citizens of those communities are lacking those abilities? Of course not, but they can be led to believe they are by the marketing tactics of organizations like Future West. Selling their "product" also garners them money. The Federal Highway Administration has their own ideas on how a gateway community should be developed, thus their involvement. Never mind letting the citizens who live there make the decision.
This summit is about laying plans for your future community, what it should look like, how it should operate, how you should be allowed to live. Island Park is one major target for this agenda.