ACADIA NATIONAL PARK ADVISORY COMMISSION MEETING
Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, ME
Monday, September 11, 2017 1:00 P.M.
Jacqueline Johnston, Chair
Fred Ehrlenbach, Vice Chair
Ben Emory, Member
Carolyn Gothard, Member
Katherine Heidinger, Member
Dexter Lee, Member
Howie Motenko, Member
Paul Richardson, Member
Stephen Shea, Member
Bruce Wiersma, Member
Ben Worcester, Member
Kevin Schneider, Superintendent, ANP
Michael Madell, Deputy Superintendent, ANP
John Kelly, Management Assistant, ANP
Stuart West, Chief Ranger, ANP
Kevin Langley, Chief of Administration
Rebecca Cole-Will, Chief of Resource Management, ANP
Christie Anastasia, Public Information Officer, ANP
David MacDonald, President & CEO, Friends of Acadia
Members of the Congressional Delegation
Members of the Public
The Commission Chair called the meeting of the Acadia National Park Advisory Commission, Monday, September 11, 2017, to order.
A moment of silence acknowledging the 3,000 lives lost on September 11th, 2001.
If you did not sign in when you arrived, please do so when you leave. When members of the audience speak, please state your name and who you represent.
We ask all Advisory Commission members to please state your name when you propose or second a motion for recording in the minutes.
APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
No additional items to add. No comments. A motion was made by Fred Ehrlenbach; seconded by Ben Emory; all approved.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Two typos required correction: P7 ‘flushed’ should be ‘fleshed’, P9 ‘Backwoods’ should be ‘Blackwoods’.
A motion was made by Dexter Lee to accept the amended minutes of the February 06, 2017, ANP
Election of New Officers – Callie GothardJackie Johnston – Chairman
Fred Ehrlenbach – Vice Chairman
Carolyn Gothard – Secretary
No other nominations made; all three have agreed to continue if elected. Katherine Heidinger makes a motion to accept the nominating committee’s recommendations and welcome back our three officers; seconded; all approved, no opposed.
Meeting Dates – 2018 – Jackie Johnston
January 29th, 2018 (*Note change from normally scheduled 1st Monday of February)
June 4 th, 2018
September 10th, 2018 at Schoodic Institute
Carolyn Gothard made the motion to accept the dates, seconded by Katherine Heidinger; all approved, no opposed.
Report: Permitted Use & Restriction of Electric Bikes – Becky Cole-Will & Stuart West Background of History of Carriage Roads – The Carriage Roads were first conceived and built by John D. Rockefeller and turned over to Acadia National Park, as one of the fundamental resources of the park. As early as 1917, in a meeting between the Secretary of the Interior, George Dorr, and Mr. Rockefeller, it was agreed the Carriage Roads would always be nonmotorized; they were always intended for the experience of quiet and solitude and operating separate from the motor road system. The carriage road system was intended for carriages, horses, and pedestrians; and bicycles. Bicycles, being a non-motorized vehicle, were added as an allowed use per an agreement between the Secretary of the Interior and John D. Rockefeller in 1949. It’s important we identified the historical intent of what these roads were meant for and we use that in our decision making as we move forward.
Implementation and the Mission under Regulations –A special rule making process in 1964 resulted in a change in regulations that allowed snowmobiles to be operated on certain predetermined routes in order to make circuits within Acadia.
Electric bikes may be operated on any roads within the park that are open to motorized vehicles (such as the park loop road). Some Carriage Roads become very congested between horses, hikers, walkers, and bicycle riders, as well. When you put an e-bike in the situation, it becomes not human or horse powered recreation anymore. As technology improves, electronic bikes with electronic motors can go faster and faster, you can easily start to see a potential conflict with other visitor uses. When we looked at how other Federal Agencies and public lands are managing electronic bikes, they are taking the same position, as well. They are allowed where a car can go because it has a motor but, on a trail that is open to bicycles, e-bikes are not allowed. As always, we accommodate persons with verified disabilities using established procedures.
Any questions? There were no further questions.
SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT – Kevin Schneider
Thank you to Senators King and Collins and their staffs for their work in helping to make sure this meeting could happen today. We did not hold the June meeting of the Advisory Commission due to the review of commissions that was initiated by the Department of the Interior. That review is still ongoing and we were able to get an exemption to hold the meeting today. We appreciate your efforts in trying to make that happen and we value your input as well as the public that attends. We are glad to be here today.
Transportation Plan – Kevin Schneider
We are basically at last year’s visitation number – plus or minus a percent. We made a minor change to our visitor counting system this year and it will impact our numbers a little bit. We have never counted the passengers who only rode the Island Explorer into the park and did not bring their cars into the park so they did not get included in our visitor statistics. There are 576,000 riders on the Island Explorer. So if you get dropped off at the Village Green in Bar Harbor, you are not counted as a park visitor but, if you get dropped off at Sand Beach, you will be counted. That is going to be a relatively small change in our numbers. It will show us being ahead, in actuality, in last year’s visitation. With our new count including the Island Explorer passengers, it will show we are up by about 4%.
We have been managing Cadillac Summit more proactively in an attempt to avoid the gridlock we have seen in the past. We have had more closures this year than in the past on the summit. Typically those closures last 45 minutes and those closures occur when the parking becomes full. A good example is there are 150 parking spaces on Cadillac and, at sunrise, we can see as many as 450 cars on top of Cadillac. Cars who do not find a place to park legally park on the side of the road on the vegetation, even double parking can occur. We also tried piloting four visitor use assistants. These were summer seasonal employees we hired to help us manage our parking lots. They work the parking lots, answer questions for visitors, let people know when the parking lots are full, and give them alternative places to go where they could still swim or hike, for example. Generally, we received good feedback on that and that program was successful. We hope to be able to continue that, as well.
We are making progress on writing the plan and associated Environmental Impact Statement. We remain hopeful we will have a draft plan for public review before the end of this calendar year. We will have a couple of public meetings, like we did with the preliminary concepts last fall, as well as a full public comment period.
Any questions? There were no questions.
Pending Legislation – Kevin Schneider
There was a hearing before the Senate National Park Sub-Committee in July. The Commission members received a packet which includes a copy of the testimony of the Acting Deputy Director for the National Park Service on that bill. We have been working very closely with the entire delegation and their staff and we appreciate that close working relationship. The legislation deals with a number of topics. The testimony is our official position. The testimony reflects the Advisory Commission’s input regarding provisions related to clamming and worming and the commercial harvest of clams and worms within Acadia National Park. We support those continue activities of traditional harvest of clams and worms but we do have some concerns about the potential for aquaculture or seaweed harvest, since those are new activities at Acadia National Park.
I also want to point out in the testimony to one of our comments on the bill. As written, the legislation would not allow us to make minor boundary adjustments. There are a number of situations where we have issues with landowners that abut the park, and for one reason or another, there is a need to make small adjustments to Acadia National Park boundaries to resolve the issues. Some examples of issues requiring minor boundary adjustments include mistakes in surveys, highway realignments, and creation of an uneconomic remainder (where private parcels are not able to be developed fully because a portion of the land is within the park boundary and a portion is outside the boundary). The desire of the park is to be able to make minor adjustments to the park’s boundary, while working with the land owners to resolve these issues. It’s about being a good neighbor and trying to work with landowners. We understand there have been concerns and would like to try to work with the delegation and others around these issues.
Ben Emory made the motion: Resolved that the commission encourages Congress to ensure Acadia National Park has the authority to do minor boundary adjustments with the goal of intending to be a good neighbor.
Seconded by Carolyn Gothard – all approved – no opposed.
Potential NPS Acquisition of the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse – Kevin Schneider
The Coast Guard has notified the National Park Service they are interested in excessing Bass Harbor Lighthouse. This is an iconic location within Acadia National Park. It is surrounded by park land. It is the fifth most popular destination within Acadia. This is the only lighthouse accessible to our visitors on Mount Desert Island. Baker Island Light is a long ways off and Bear Island Light is not accessible. It has a very important role in the visitor experience at Acadia. It is on the quarter. It is on the stamp. The viewing area, which is an iconic location where many photos are taken of the lighthouse, is on national park property. Basically, only the area of the lighthouse and the keeper’s house is on Coast Guard property. We have not made a formal decision yet. We are looking at trying to fully understand the cost of operation and management. We have to be mindful historic buildings are not always inexpensive to operate. It is a historic structure and it is listed on the National Register of historic places. It may even be eligible to be listed as a National Historic Landmark. There is a small parking lot for only about 22 vehicles. Any new use for it, we want to be mindful of the parking dilemma we have there. We are committed to sharing information as we go through the process with the public, local towns, local elected officials and other stakeholders, as it becomes available and as we try to understand what the dynamics are. But it is clearly a very important part within Acadia National Park. The lighthouse will continue as an aid to navigation. The Coast Guard will continue to maintain the light and we will continue to maintain the structure. From our mission standpoint, we have a very strong interest to make sure that the icon stays preserved as a cultural resource. Bass Harbor Light fits right in the middle of Acadia National Parks fundamental resources and values. So wanting to make sure that historical history is preserved is at the top of our list. We presently have two other lighthouses on outlying sites; Bear Lighthouse is under a fifty-year lease and, on Baker Island, the house was acquired in 1959 and the light a few years ago. They are in not–asgood condition as Bass Harbor Head Light. The commander’s residence has been lived in up to the last couple of years. When buildings are used, they are preserved. Historic buildings that do not get used fall into disrepair very quickly. Finding an appropriate use consistent with that site, with consideration to the parking lot, will be part of the challenge. We have started gathering ideas on how we might manage it. We have envisioned a local, public meeting this fall.
Ben Emory made a motion for a consensus of the commission to encourage the park to continue to explore the acquisition of Bass Harbor Head Light.
Seconded by Katherine Heidinger; All Approved – No Opposed
Any questions? – No further questions.
Proposed Cruise Ship Pier at the Ferry Terminal in Bar Harbor
Ben Emory - What issues related to the cruise ship pier seem relevant to Acadia National Park? And in regards to issues that are relevant, how is the park participating or how are they expected to continue to participate in the discussions that are ongoing?
Kevin Schneider - The Town of Bar Harbor is working through a process to determine whether or not to acquire the Ferry terminal to convert it to some type of marine use. What that marine use looks like is still being debated within the town; whether a cruise ship pier, cruise ship terminal, or something else. Acadia National Park has not taken a formal position on the cruise ship terminal in Bar Harbor. It has been a divisive issue locally. And we try to stay focused on how it might impact Acadia National Park and on our priorities. My most important priority, whether folks come by cruise ship, bicycle, Island Explorer bus, or private vehicle, is to make sure they have a great visitor experience when they come to Acadia National Park. Similarly, we want to make sure to integrate the cruise ship experience with the park the best we can, whether it takes place at its current location, downtown Bar Harbor, or at a cruise ship pier. I think it will be very important, as we work through the transportation planning process, to make sure we are applying the best possible experience for those visitors and how we integrate with them. One of the important aspects of cruise ship management in Bar Harbor is the fact they have passenger caps. The Town of Bar Harbor is limited on the number of people who can come to the area on cruise ships through passenger caps. Those passenger caps vary, depending on the time of the year, so they are less in July and August and greater in the fall. The passenger caps have worked really well in the last few years to manage cruise ship visitation to ensure they don’t have days it becomes overly congested. Those passenger caps are really important. As this proposal develops, we will stay involved. We have been involved with the cruise ship committee and we will continue to be; which is the town’s local committee to address it.
COMMITTEE REPORTSPark Use No Report Science & Education
Land – Ben Emory
Paul Richardson has resigned as Chair on the Land’s Committee. Thank you to Paul for serious attention to land issues over a long period of time.
Emily Seger Pagan presented one conservation easement amendment on Fernald’s Point in Southwest Harbor, which requires commission approval. On Fernald’s Point, there are several parcels of land under conservation easements since the 1970’s. On one of them, the easement originally allowed for a pier. An amendment changed the right to build a pier, which doesn’t exist, to a ramp and float system. This has proved to be unsatisfactory as it is impossible to hold in place in high winds and it’s tearing up the intertidal zone. Land owners are asking for a second amendment to this easement to provide for the right to build a pier, and give up the ramp and float system. Emily and the Solicitor’s office say this is legally acceptable and environmentally sound. The land’s committee was unanimous in approving this amendment but we are going to need to vote here.
Lee (Ben) Worcester made a motion to accept the report of the lands committee with regards to the amendment to the easement on Fernald’s Point.
Seconded by Fred Ehrlenbach – All Approved – No Opposed
In addition, there are other land owners speaking with Emily about amendments so we may be seeing more.
SCHOODIC INSTITUTE UPDATE – Jim Andrews, Acting President & CEO
I have been a board member for Schoodic Institute for a little over three years. You have probably heard that Mark Berry officially announced in July he would be stepping down and officially left on August 15th. By the time he left, we were already well on our way with the search to fill in behind him. The search is going well and we have lots of possibilities. We hope to have good news eventually. In the meantime, we are going strong. The board is very actively involved in the transition process.
This is a transition time at Schoodic Institute and, also for schools. We have a lot of activity with Colby College, University of Maine, organizations like Earth Watch, Fish & Wildlife and the park service, as well as others. Tomorrow we expect 45 students and 6 chaperones for a Schoodic Institute Adventure, which started last week. In November, we expect over 600 students from 22 different schools. Thank you to Kate Petrie and the education staff for hosting them. Groups of photographers and artists are visiting campus finding inspiration. In October, Streamline Publishing will bring a group of 75 artists to our campus.
In 2015, we had about 6,276 visitors. In 2016, the campground opened and the centennial happened. We had 13,552 visitors. Now in 2017, as of Labor Day weekend, we are up 5% at over the 2016 numbers. The Visitor Center is very busy.
We have active research going on; we have 11 field technicians and interns applying their roles assisting Schoodic Institute staff in research and educational outreach. We have the monthly brown bag. The next brown bag will be held on September 21st, if you are interested. We have eagle watches and Hawk Watch every day on Cadillac, SeaWatch, and Bird Migration. The Night Sky will begin September 20th. If you want more information, please check out our website; sign up for the e-newsletter; or check us out on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Last, I will mention a very important partnership we have with Acadia National Park, The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Second Century Stewardship Program, bringing Research Fellows, which will be open to applications starting Thursday, September 14th .
FRIENDS of ACADIA UPDATE – David MacDonald, President & CEO
I just want to say we appreciate your role, Jim (Andrews), for stepping in and helping out in Mark’s absence. I serve on the board at Schoodic Institute, as well. The Board is super engaged and a lot of good work continues to happen there. A lot of collaboration continues with our partners.
We are pleased to see this commission meeting happening. Friends of Acadia were an advocate on this issue with the Delegation and Secretary Zinke. Our board felt pretty strong about it. It was news to me to see it was still under suspension and this meeting is happening because of a waiver. We will continue to stay on that through communication with the Delegation and Administration.
With Becky Cole-Will’s help, we did a workshop on the Red Pine Scale infestation in the park. It was a public meeting, and might have served the purpose of the June commission meeting in terms of communication, and was very well attended in Northeast Harbor. It was live streamed and is posted on our Facebook page for those who could not be there. There was good information and Becky’s team did an outstanding job explaining the complexity behind Red Pine Scale, the management choices we have to make, and how there are real concerns in the community. Thank you for the team’s support on it!
We have been working with Becky and her team at Sieur de Mont springs. The park removed the failing septic system within the last few months that really affected some of the park. There has been really important improvement and it ties in to where we help fund and support work through the Wild Acadia Initiative, which is really focused on helping park watersheds everywhere become healthier and more resilient over time. So FOA is going to follow that work with some restoration work that’s, hopefully, going to restore Acadia wetland, which used to be there many years ago. And we think it is a really good move for the park to get rid of that failing septic system and connect to the town sewer. It’s a lot of work and big expense but over the long haul, I think it is exactly the investment to help the park in terms of the maintenance backlog. I think it will help the natural function of the wetland in that area, as well. When you hear about Wild Acadia Initiative, that is the kind of initiative we want to see happen.
We are also taking steps to help with work going into the transportation plan through Visitor Use Modeling. The Contractor is RSG of Vermont. It will be helpful in understanding visitation on Cadillac Mountain, whether they are coming by car, bus, or biking and we are now extending that to Ocean Drive. So when the park comes out with the Environment Impact Statement and, hopefully, some preferred alternatives, we have some data and models that will give us a head start on implementation. Again, that is another place where Friends of Acadia are glad to provide some seed money to help get the work underway.
Our volunteerism is up. We have had more individuals and more hours volunteered to the park this year than last year with the Centennial. Our volunteer work will continue on through November, when we have Take Pride in Acadia day.
Our Summer Stewards, who have been managing the situation on Cadillac this year, will stay on through the fall, as well. So many of our seasonals have left, but some of those programs have been extended through regular resources to help the park get a handle on some hot spots in the park.
The last thing, we are co-hosting a conference here next month, which will bring friends groups and partners to Acadia to compare notes and meet with peers. Some of the field trips will be to Schoodic and we have a couple planned on MDI. There will be 100-125 people but really some of the leaders in terms of seeking partnerships and parks of the future. This is an annual conference and Friends of Acadia is proud to be hosting the Friends of Alliance next month.
PUBLIC COMMENTAnn Hirschhorn, Hancock, Citizen (Comments attached as written and shared) – “The Park and the Pier”
Antonio Blasi, Hancock, Schoodic Maine Guide (Comments attached as written and shared) – “Proposed Cruise Ship Pier”
Renata Moise, Hancock, Friends of Frenchman’s Bay (Comments attached as written and shared) – “Proposed Cruise Ship Pier”
Change.org – (Submitted by Renata Moise, a copy of statement/petition to Senator Thibodeau and Rep. Gideon, Maine State Legislature, regarding the proposed cruise ship pier. Statement is attached but the 273 signatures/comments are not due to size of document; a hard copy is filed with the minutes) – “Proposed Cruise Ship Pier”
Dexter Lee – Bar Harbor is not here to make a statement. I don’t think that ANP Advisory Commission should take any action on the cruise ship pier proposal, given Bar Harbor is not represented at the meeting.
Ben Emory - I agree with Dexter and I don’t think the commission, at least not today, should take a positon on it. I am not a representative of Bar Harbor but I am a legal resident of Bar Harbor. As a voter, I have been trying to educate myself over the recent months. I understand the controversy that is swirling. As a member of the commission, I think, in the next few months as this goes forward, it would behoove us to try to understand the issues that are directly relevant to Acadia National Park. I do think there may be major impacts for Acadia, as suggested and, if the commission thinks there are, I think we may, down the road, want to make some comment about that. I think it is something we need to follow carefully. And I, personally, certainly encourage the park to stay on top of this issue and participate to the extent they can.
Bruce Wiersma - I don’t know about the controversy since I am from the Bangor area. But I am concerned about the commission’s getting involved and Dexter said that. I don’t necessarily see this within the scope of this commission until the park service comes to us and says there is an effect or impact on them. Perhaps I’m wrong but I ask that we move the group forward and to be sure that we work with the park service on this.
Marty Elliott, Prospect Harbor, Citizen – I’m not here to criticize. I want to applaud the commission and the superintendent in responding to our appeal last year to open a trail on the west point so I could kayak. I am older and it was difficult to maneuver and it makes it easier to get down there without the boulders. They not only listened, but they heard and they did it. And I thank all of you very much.
Roger Bowen, Gouldsboro, Selectman – Sheridan Steele famously, or infamously, pointed out that one reason the park was happy to acquire the Schoodic Woods land and pier and add the campground was that it might help divert some of the heavy traffic on Bar Harbor over to the peninsula. Now that remark which was probably stated in a moment of unusual candor upset many of us on this peninsula who like peace and quiet and who want never, ever, to become Bar Harbor East. I would respectfully urge the commission to look at this issue carefully because Sheridan’s estimate was 10% of all the people who go to Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island will come over to Schoodic. And as your figures grow there, 3 million and climbing, we expect to see 340,000-400,000 coming here at some point. We are a peninsula without a stop light. We are a peninsula where we have two police forces in two very small towns, but understaffed. We are a quiet community and people who moved here, including myself, like it for that reason. I will not go to Bar Harbor during the summer. And most people I know feel the same way. My point is, there will be an impact on the Schoodic section of Acadia National Park, if numbers continue to rise on the Island. I think that should be a consideration of the commission.
Fred Johnson – I apologize. I had to work and arrived late for the intertidal discussion. If someone could catch me up I would really appreciate it, even after the meeting would be fine.
Marty Elliott, Prospect Harbor, Citizen -Roger and I don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things but I agree, wholeheartedly, with everything he said. If they bring all these people over here, I don’t know how in the world the infrastructure is ever going to handle it. You’ve heard of rivalry, I can imagine the people over here feel they own the park not the park service. And you are going to have a lot of problems with people who originated from this area when this area is destroyed.
Jackie Johnston, Gouldsboro and ANP Advisory Commission Chair – Thank you and I just want to comment that we did say, earlier in the meeting, that we would be receiving data on Schoodic visitation and I will share that with the town. So we can track how it is increasing.
Member of the Public - I would be curious to hear from the town what the impacts have been to date.
Jackie Johnston - Do you have any data that indicates what the impacts have been to date on any increased visitation to the park?
Roger Bowen, Gouldsboro Selectman – We did ask last year, when there was a Transportation Plan meeting, for hard data. And I was told, at the entrance to the park, there would be a car counter. And we’ve had some hard data the end of this season. Speaking only for myself, and not all the Gouldsboro selectman, I am anxious to see that data. I suspect it has increased rather substantially, which is great for the park but one needs to think about the impact on the community.
Katherine Heidinger, Winter Harbor, ANP Advisory Commission – I represent Winter Harbor on the Advisory Commission but there is no official from Winter Harbor present today. So I loathe to speak for Winter Harbor. I will say the comments I have heard, informally, throughout the whole summer have mostly been positive. Certainly there have been more visitors in the area. But I have not heard the outcry that I heard last year because of the many changes that have occurred last year. It seemed to have been a smoother process; a smoother grow period. I share Roger’s concern as a resident for we don’t want to change the whole feel of our quiet area but I have not heard any disparaging remarks. So far, I think that’s pretty positive.
Ben Emory - I would like to make a response to Roger’s comments to the Commission about this issue. I have been very cognizant over quite a few years now of the discussion over the changes happening at Schoodic. I know the General Management Plan calls for this side of the park to remain as the quieter side of the park. I think it behooves us as commissioners to refresh our memory about the General Management Plan and maintain communication with park officials as to how they are trying to, particularly in light of the changes here, follow the general intent of the management plan to keep this the quieter side of the park. The other question that comes to mind, when the Navy pulled out, one of the concerns was how the economic benefits of the Navy get replaced. I read the population of Winter Harbor dropped 46% when the Navy pulled out. The change to that small a town at one time is enormous. To what extent have all the changes in the park been in a positive way? To what extent does it get to be too much?
Katherine Heidinger, Winter Harbor, ANP Advisory Commission – When the Navy did vacate, Schoodic Futures of many concerned citizens formed to determine what exactly we could see in the future in this whole region. It was a devastating loss. It was $14million trickle-down economy that was completely obliterated. After many years, probably a decade, of thinking about the end result, what has resulted is 1) Schoodic Institute, which has been a positive economic, as well as cultural and educational, result. Also, with the park being more conscious of the community’s needs and wishes as we do move forward, I think this has been a positive thing. And I think economically it has been. I am sure there have been some negative aspects. I’m not playing cheerleader and I’m certainly not speaking for the town of Winter Harbor, but I do think there has been some good that has come out of all of this evolution and I think, as we manage it in the future, we can say we had the best of both.
Marty Elliott, Prospect Harbor, Citizen – From what I’m hearing, there are good and bad points. That is always that way. It’s always economic and it’s always the type of thing Roger’s talking about. I think the important thing is for the park to decide, at what level, along with the community’s input, you allow people to come over here. Roger mentioned Sheridan Steele and 300-400,000 people, well that is not a good thing for this area. I think Katherine will agree with that. At what point, in a growing community, are there too many people coming here opposed to the economic benefits. It’s not an easy answer but one that needs to be discussed and on everybody’s mind.
Jackie Johnston – Thank you and, again, we will be looking at the General Management Plan and taking a look at the numbers of folks coming here and determining if we are doing what we need to do in terms of managing.
Kevin Schneider, Superintendent – I appreciate all of this discussion and concerns and I think it’s all very relevant to our overall transportation planning process. That is going to, especially on the MDI side of Acadia National Park, really take a look at how we manage Cadillac Mountain when we have 150 parking spaces and 450 cars. What about in ten years when our visitation is even greater? This is an important time for us to be having these discussions. It is grounded, as Ben has pointed out, in the General Management Plan. It does call for Schoodic to be the quieter side of Acadia National Park. How do we achieve those requirements and goals that are in the GMP? This is a very relevant conversation and there is no easy, simple solution. We are a national park and it’s not just open to locals. We are open to all Americans and we draw on a class of visitor that comes here from anywhere in the USA once in their life and this may be the highlight of their lifetime; a chance to visit Acadia National Park in Maine, and that is even true for people from abroad. So these are challenging discussions and there are no easy answers but I appreciate, ultimately, the concern expressed today about how we protect the fundamental resources and values of what makes this place so special and how do we keep it that way for future generations to enjoy.
The Commission Chair made closing comments.
Last updated: March 20, 2018