Acadia Advisory Commission

Advisory Commission met virtually on June 6

Agenda topics included:

  • Update on the 2022 season.
  • Construction projects, including the park headquarters maintenance facility and Duck Brook bridge repair.
  • Great Meadow culvert replacement and wetland enhancement, including funding received under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
  • Reports from Friends of Acadia and Schoodic Institute.

Meeting minutes are pending. A video recording of the meeting is posted online.

Congress created the Acadia National Park Advisory Commission in 1986 to consult with the National Park Service on matters relating to the management and development of the park, including, but not limited to, the acquisition of lands and interests in lands. The Advisory Commission is comprised of 16 members with three members appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, three members appointed by the Governor of Maine, and one member appointed by each of the following towns: Bar Harbor, Cranberry Isles, Frenchboro, Gouldsboro, Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor, Swans Island, Tremont, Trenton and Winter Harbor.


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What is the Acadia Advisory Commission?

The purpose of the Acadia National Park Advisory Commission is to advise the Secretary of the Interior through his or her designee, the superintendent of Acadia National Park. The superintendent consults with the commission regarding the management and development of the park.

The commission was established by the 1986 park boundary legislation (Public Law 99-420) and amended by Public Law 110-229 in 2008. The commission terminates in 2026. The bylaws describe the commission in more detail. Meetings are open to the public; meeting notices appear in the Federal Register.

Four standing committees make recommendations for action to the commission.

  • Science and education

  • Land conservation

  • Park use

  • Historical/cultural


Can I Find Past Meeting Notes?

You can find a complete record of Acadia Advisory Commission meeting notes on our Acadia Advisory Commission Meeting Notes page.

Can I Attend The Advisory Commission Meetings?

Advisory Commission meetings are open to the public. You can check the Federal Register or our social media platforms for announcements for the next meeting. You can also contact your town representative (list below).

When Does The Commission Meet?

First Monday in February
First Monday in June
Second Monday in September
Meeting notices will be published in the Federal Register.


Who Sits on the Advisory Commission?

Members of the Acadia National Park Advisory Commission represent the Secretary of the Interior, the Governor for the State of Maine, and the communities in the surrounding Acadia National Park region.

Name Represented Group Term End Date
Kenneth Cline At Large 03/31/2019
R. Frederick Ehrlenbach Town of Trenton 04/25/2023
Carolyn Gothard Town of Tremont 04/25/2023
Katherine Heidinger Town of Winter Harbor 02/19/2019
Matthew Horton Governor of Maine 07/07/2023
Jacqueline Johnston Town of Gouldsboro 04/25/2023
Dexter Lee Town of Swan's Island 02/19/2019
Howie Motenko Governor of Maine 07/07/2023
Kendall Davis Town of Mount Desert 04/25/2023
Stephen Shea Governor of Maine 07/07/2023
Kenneth Smith Town of Bar Harbor 04/25/2023
G Bruce Wiersma, Ph.D. At Large 04/25/2023
Ben Worcester III Town of Southwest Harbor 04/25/2023
VACANT Town of Cranberry Isles
VACANT Town of Frenchboro

Lands Committee:

Chair: Vacant
Members: Dexter Lee, Ken Cline, Ken Smith, Ben (Lee) Worcester
ANP Liaison: Land Resource Specialist (Emily Seger Pagan)

Park Use Committee:

Chair: Jacqueline Johnston
Members: Katherine Heidinger, Ken Smith, Fred Ehrlenbach, Matthew Horton, Dexter Lee, Howie Motenko
ANP Liaison: Deputy Superintendent (Michael Madell)

Science and Education Committee:

Chair: Bruce Wiersma
Members: Caroline Gothard, Stephen Shea, Ken Cline
ANP Liaison: Science Coordinator (Abe Rushing-Miller)

History Committee:

Chair: Vacant
Members: Carolyn Gothard, Stephen Shea
ANP Liaison: Cultural Resources Program Manager (Rebecca Cole-Will)


Advisory Commission Bylaws

The bylaws (which are in the process of being amended) contain detailed information about the purpose, membership, meetings, and committees of the commission.
Ratified on Nov. 16, 1987
Amended Jan. 11, 1988
Amended May 13, 1996
Amended August 5, 1996
The official designation of the commission is the Acadia National Park Advisory Commission, established by Public Law 99-420, Section 103.

The purpose of the commission is to advise the Secretary of the Interior through his designee, the superintendent, Acadia National Park. The superintendent shall conduct with and request the advice of the commission on matters relating to the management and development of the park including, but not limited to, each of the following:

The acquisition of lands and interests in lands (including conservation easements on islands).Termination of rights of use and occupancy.

The commission shall be composed of sixteen members appointed by the Secretary as follows:

  • three members at large as selected by the Secretary;
  • three members appointed from among individuals recommended by the Governor of Maine;
  • four members appointed from among individuals recommended by each of the four towns on the Island of Mount Desert;
  • three members appointed from among individuals recommended by each of the three Hancock County mainland towns of Gouldsboro, Winter Harbor, and Trenton; and
  • three members appointed from among individuals recommended by each of the three island towns of Cranberry Isles, Swans Island, and Frenchboro.
The terms of the commission members shall be three years except for that for the initial appointments under each paragraph, one member shall serve for a term of one year, and one member shall serve for a term of two years.

Members may serve beyond the termination date of their appointment and may continue to serve until they are reappointed or replaced. Any vacancy on the commission shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made.

The commission will elect a chairman, vice-chairman, and secretary by a majority vote. The term of each officer will be for twelve months or until elections can be held. Should any officer not be able to continue to serve a full term, an election shall be held at the next meeting to select a replacement.

Members of the commission shall serve without compensation as such, except that the National Park Service is authorized to pay the expenses reasonably incurred by the commission in carrying out its responsibilities.

The superintendent, Acadia National Park, will provide staff support to the commission.

All meetings of the commission will be held in accordance with properly constituted notice and will be open to the public. The commission will meet at least three times a year. All meetings shall be called by the chairman, and additional meetings may be called at the request of a majority of the commissioners.

Seven commissioners shall constitute a quorum for a commission meeting. In the event a quorum fails, those present may constitute themselves as a committee and make recommendations to the full commission. Any municipal member may defer for one meeting any motion or recommendation affecting that municipality.

The agenda for meetings shall be developed by the chairman and superintendent, Acadia National Park, and be included in the published notice of meetings. Commissioners with proposals for inclusion in the agenda shall notify the chairman in sufficient time for them to be included in the public notice of the meeting. The chairman is responsible for the approval of the commission meeting agenda. Matters not on the agenda set forth in the notice may be added to the agenda at the meeting by unanimous vote of those present.

Any private individuals interested in addressing the commission may avail themselves of the procedures provided in the public notice of the meeting or request their town/state/federal representatives to include their interests in the formal agenda. The purpose of these provisions is to provide an avenue for individual public input within the parameters of an orderly meeting.

The proceedings of the commission will be recorded by a court reporter. The transcript of these proceedings will be submitted to the secretary of the commission for review and acceptance. The secretary will prepare a summary report on each of the commission meetings based on the transcript and supply copies of the summary to the commissioners at least seven days prior to the succeeding meeting. The commission, by resolution, will approve the report. Copies of the transcript will be available to commissioners upon request.

Any commissioner who shall be absent from three consecutive meetings of the commission, unless excused by resolution of the commission, shall be deemed to have vacated his or her office, and the appropriate official will be requested to appoint a new member to the commission.

After two absences a commissioner shall be notified of this possibility by the chairman. In advance of any meeting, commissioners shall notify the chairman or secretary if they are unable to attend and the reason for the absence.

Committees will be established by the commission for specific purposes and will report to the commission. Wherever possible, committee meetings will be held on the same day as the commission meetings. All committees will have a minimum of three members and a maximum of five, including one federal, one state and one to three municipal representatives. Exceptions to this general rule of committee composition may be altered by resolution of the commission. Committee chairmen, with the concurrence of the commission chairman, may call meetings or workshops to develop information on the subject matter assigned to the committee. The National Park Service will supply staff support to these committees.
All media contacts regarding commission actions or reports shall come from the commission chairman, vice-chairman or secretary.
The commission will submit to the Secretary of the Interior an annual report on the actions of the commission beginning with the first report for the year ending December 1987.
These Bylaws may be amended or added to by a majority vote of the commission at a meeting notified in part for that purpose.
The commission will terminate on September 25, 2006.

Note: The 2008 Acadia Improvement Act extended the Acadia Advisory Commision
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    Last updated: June 10, 2022

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