Park Headquarters, Monday, February 4, 2013
Jackie L. Johnston
Acting Chair Dexter Lee
Member Alice Long
Member Fred Ehrlenbach
Member Katherine Heidinger
Member Carolyn K. Gothard
Member Matt Horton
Member Jeanine Ross
Member Steven Shea
Member Lee Worcester
Member Bruce Wiersma
Member Sheridan Steele, Superintendent, ANP
Len Bobinchock, Deputy Superintendent, ANP
David Manski, Chief of Resource Mgmt., ANP
Becky Cole-Will, Cultural Resources Spec., ANP
Pauline Blanchard, Program Assistant, ANP
John Kelly, Planner, ANP Stuart West, Chief Ranger, ANP
Abe Miller-Rushing, Science Coordinator, ANP
Andy Mitchell, Fire Management Officer, ANP
Mike Soukup, Executive Director, SERCI
Stephanie Clement, Friends of Acadia
David MacDonald, Friends of Acadia News Media Public
Jackie Johnston called the meeting to order at Acadia National Park Headquarters at 1:00PM. There was a quorum.
The minutes for the September 10, 2012, meeting were accepted and unanimously approved.
Land Use Committee:
Did not meet, and there was no report.
Park Use Committee:
The Park Use Committee did not meet. Park staff gave updates on past issues.
ROAD CONSTRUCTION: Len Bobinchock gave an update on four road construction projects this summer. The carriage roads in the Day Mountain/Jordan Pond area will be resurfaced this summer. There will be an overlay on the entire Park Loop Road. Six bus stop improvements on both the east and the west sides of MDI. The Stanley Brook Road bridges will be repaired.
Bus Stops: The improvement locations will be the North Ridge Trail, Bubble Pond, Bubble Rock, Acadia Mountain, Parkman Mountain and Echo Lake. The park hopes to award a contract for this construction by March and to have the work completed by the end of June or the 4th of July at the latest. Echo Lake will, however, take all summer, and the contract is written in such a way to allow for continued use. There will be no bus parking at Echo Lake for the summer, and the park will contact camp groups and others so they can make adjustments. The work at North Ridge, Acadia Mountain, Sand Beach and Thunder Hole will continue without any closures, and no work will be permitted during August or September.
Motor Roads: This work will start mid-May and should be finished by the end of June as the road is being resurfaced. There will be lane closures, and while the road is being resurfaced, there will be no right-lane parking. Striping will be done about one week after the resurfacing is completed. There will be overnight closures for striping, and that will probably run from sunset to dawn.
Carriage Road Resurfacing: This work will take place in the Wildwood/Day Mountain area, move on to the Jordan Pond House area and then to Deer Brook. As this work is being done, the carriage roads will be closed in sections. Park employees will be located at the intersections with maps and information for visitors explaining the work that is going on and will direct them to alternate routes.
Stanley Brook Project: There are six bridges along the Stanley Brook Road that will be repaired. This work is scheduled to be done between August 15 and September because of the regulatory requirements for in-stream work. Most of the work will be done from the roadway, and very large equipment will be used. The Stanley Brook Road will be closed during this construction. The Town of Mount Desert will be closing the Jordan Pond Road to through traffic during construction to restrict traffic on that residential street.
Science and Education Committee:
The Science and Education Committee did not meet prior to the full Commission meeting. 3 Mike Soukup, Executive Director of Schoodic Education and Research Institute (SERCI) spoke at length about the strategic planning for SERCI and gave an update on activities at SERCI. For details, contact Acadia NP to listen to the recording of this meeting. Katherine Heidinger noted that on July 3rd the Rockefeller Building, the focal point of the SERC campus, will be open to the public. Details of the ceremony will follow, and it is hoped the Acadia NP Advisory Commission will attend the ceremony. The Advisory Commission is invited to visit the SERC campus to better understand the facility and its operation. David Manski discussed the NPS policy on deer management, Mount Desert Island (MDI) deer management issues and the legal and policy perspective on this. Deer hunting is prohibited by law in Acadia National Park. Local towns and groups have been in discussions about reducing the deer herd on MDI; however, no decision has been made to date.
Becky Cole-Will spoke about the Islesford Museum. Because of the condition of the very old historic building, approximately 300 fragile artifacts were removed from the Islesford Museum and they are now being stored in the curatorial storage at park headquarters until the museum has been made into a safe environment for these objects. Bob Pyle, grandson of William Otis Sawtelle, has a strong connection to the community and to the collection, and he advises the park on ideas for the museum and collection.
New Business: There was discussion about Advisory Commission votes. The commission members who vote against whatever action has come before the Commission will be identified as well as their reasons for doing so. The Commission requested that detailed agendas for Commission meetings be sent to the members a week in advance.
FOA Strategic Plan: David MacDonald gave a presentation on the FOA Strategic Plan. Their Mission Statement is unchanged (this can be viewed online at www.friends of acadia.org). David Manski spoke on planning for a new headquarters complex. This is only in the beginning stages. The park is currently in the scoping mode. The park hopes to hold a public meeting in late spring on this issue.
Superintendent’s Report: Sheridan Steele discussed the importance of partnerships. Sheridan reported on Schoodic Woods. There will be a public meeting on the planning effort on February 24, 2013, in Winter Harbor. They are working on developing trails and bike paths 4 particularly across the peninsula. They are working on some recreation support facilities, including a campground. All of this is being done with private funding.
CONCESSIOINS: The Acadia Corporation contract expires at the end of 2013. The park completed work on a prospectus that went out to prospective bidders. Interested parties visited the area last summer, and they had until November to organize their submissions. Submitted prospectuses will be reviewed and a selection made by NPS officials not affiliated with the park.
BUDGET: Len Bobinchock stated that the park has been operating under a continuing resolution which will go through March 27th. The park doesn’t know what will happen after March 27th. The Dept. of the Interior is converting to a new business management system. The park is experiencing problems in this changeover, because long-time vendors are having to wait several months before being paid, and it has been a public relations problem for the park.
ACADIA GATEWAY CENTER: The park reached a milestone in November 2012 when the National Park Service Development Advisory Board granted approval for the National Park Service to continue to participate in the project. On January 10th, the MDOT held a public meeting in Trenton where they shared with them the 30% design. Sixty percent design is expected around the end of February. JORDAN POND: Last year the park implemented parking restrictions in the vicinity of Jordan Pond. Those restrictions will continue this year, and no new restrictions are being proposed for the 2013 season. The park will be working with the Acadia Corporation and Downeast Transportation to look at opportunities to revise and enhance the Pond House Express bus route that was established last year and also better ways to market that route.
CENTENNIAL PLANNING: It is the centennial for both the National Park Service and Acadia National Park. Planning is beginning for this celebration. FOA and SERC Institute are also planning for the 2016 event. The park would like to make it a joint effort with many groups. The Commission members were asked to let park officials know if they have any ideas or thoughts about this. When asked by Alice Long, Sheridan said that this will probably be a yearlong celebration. There will be one or two large events, but there will be many smaller ones as well.
Last year officials were here giving a tick presentation, they were asked about Lyme disease and ticks on rabbits. At their request Dexter Lee said someone shot a rabbit, and they collected well over 100 ticks, and they found no ticks carrying Lyme disease.
Next Commission Meeting:
Please remember to send any suggestions for agenda items to Steve. 5 The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 3, 2013, 1:00PM, at Acadia National Park Headquarters, Bar Harbor, Maine, as published in the FEDERAL REGISTER. The September 9, 2013, meeting will be held at SERCI, Winter Harbor, Maine.
It was moved, seconded and unanimously voted to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 2:50PM.