Management

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What We Do

Managing a national park is a complex job. The dedicated staff of the Acadia National Park is made up of federal government employees, volunteers, and partners. Since the founding of the park, the Acadia team has worked together to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. Learn more about what we do and how we manage this incredibly special place.
 

Protecting Nature

Based in science and research, park management actions aim to preserve the park's natural resources unimpaired for future generations. In the face of various environmental threats such as climate change and invasive species, this is a challenge. Management and decision-making frameworks must be forward thinking and flexible. Learn more about the things to do to protect nature.
 
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Protecting Nature

Learn more about the strategies and approaches of the National Park Service to protect and preserve nature for future generations.

A porcupine walks along granite and ground vegetation

Nature

Explore fascinating animals, plants, and landscapes where the summits meet the sea and learn about the challenges facing this special place.

Two people hold a juvenile peregrine falcon while banding its leg

Science & Research

Learn more about how we conduct research and science at Acadia and the amazing people and partners who protect this place for the future.

 

Preserving History

Acadia is a living landscape. People have influenced the landscape since time immemorial. Their traces left behind in archeology and historic structures join together with the living communities that still exist. Historic preservation focus on managingd designed landscapes including historic carriage roads, historic trails, historic structures, historic viewsheds, and the museum collection. These historic resources along with archeological and ethnographic resources are facing an uncertain future due to climate change and other environmental factors.
 
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Preserve History

Learn more about the many ways that Acadia preserves its historic resources including historic structures, museum collections, and data.

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History & Culture

Learn about the people and places that make up our past, present, and future.

Historic photograph of a brick building with people grouped in front

Collections

Learn about the William Otis Sawtelle Collections and Research Center, dedicated to the founder of the Islesford Historical Museum.

 

Managing Visitors

Parks are for people. Millions of visitors come to Acadia every year to enjoy its natural beauty, historic significance, and recreational experiences. Managing those millions of visitors takes an understanding of the complex forces at work including sharp increases in visitation. Learn more about the many ways Acadia National Park manages congestion and uses communication to help inspire visitors to stay safe and care for this special place.
 
crowds of people walk down the steps toward a rocky ocean cliff

Manage Visitors

Learn more about the many ways that park staff help manage visitor behavior and impacts to protect the park.

a person in a visibility vest reads a meter in front of a car on the road

Social Science Research

Find research reports on the many ways Acadia studies how humans impact the park, from restrooms to roads.

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Leave No Trace

Acadia National Park is committed to promoting Leave No Trace and encouraging visitors to minimize their impact during their visit.

 

Maintaining & Managing Infrastructure

Acadia National Park is a peaceful, beautiful place. It is also a dynamic, ever-changing hub of decisions, plans, and actions that maintain over 700 infrastructure assets including buildings, trails, water and wastewater systems, campgrounds, and roads. The talented staff of the National Park Service work annually to protect these resources and provide a positive visitor experience for the millions who visit Acadia today and for future generations.
 
a backhoe machine digging in a parking lot

Maintain & Manage Infrastructure

Learn more about the many ways that staff maintain and manage park buildings, roads, water and wastewater systems, trails and more.

Two people riding horseback under stone bridge

Carriage Roads & Gatehouses - 1913-1940

Learn the history behind the design, planning, and construction of the famous carriage road system.

Historic photograph of a trail through forested area

Historic Trails (--- to 1958

Mount Desert Island’s present-day trail system evolved over centuries of human use and settlement of the land.

Historic photo of cars on a scenic road

Motor Roads - 1922-1958

Acadia’s motor road system involved engineers, landscape architects, conservationists, local skilled laborers, the federal agencies.

 

Working with Communities

As a living landscape, Acadia National Park works with the many communities that exist in and around the park. The park is in the traditional homeland of Wabanaki people who live here and have lived here since time immemorial. The park as a government-to-government relationship with tribes. The park also works with the many towns and communities that surround the park and uses tools such as conservation easements and processes such as civic engagement to connect with communities on the many issues that are interwoven with park management. The Acadia Advisory Commission is a key link between the park and the surrounding communities.
 
two men stand talking to each other in front of a wetland

Land & Boundary Management

Learn more about the many ways that the Acadia team works with surrounding communities to manage lands such as conservation easements.

2 park staff in uniform stand with three women in plain clothes

Tribal Relations

Learn more about the Acadia's government-to-government relationship with Wabanaki tribes and the ways we work together.

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Acadia Advisory Commission

Learn more about how the Acadia Advisory Commission works, along with meeting minutes and announcements.

 

Working With Partners

The origin of Acadia National Park is characterized by a rich legacy of conservation that continues today through many partnerships, philanthropic efforts, and Acadia’s ongoing conservation easement program. Acadia has many partnerships that support its natural and cultural protection and preservation efforts through donations, endowments, volunteerism, and advocacy efforts. This legacy of citizen-initiated conservation and philanthropy allows the park to meet its mission of protecting and preserving its cultural and natural resources for present and future generations.
 
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Partners

Learn more about the partners who help us operate.

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Partners In Science

Learn more about the ways that Acadia's partners are essential in the effort to study Acadia.

 

Planning For the Future

All of the above actions - protecting nature, preserving history, managing visitors, managing infrastructure, and working with communities and partners - takes a lot of planning. Parks are in the 'forever business' and planning for the future is an important part of what we do. Learn more about the types of plans the park produces and some of the major plans that have guided the park into a sustainable and protected future.
 
a finger points at a landscape plan

Planning

Learn more about Acadia's planning efforts from the past, present, and future, and the types of plans the park uses to guide the way forward

A technician seated next to road watches a car drive over a traffic monitor.

Transportation Plan

Acadia has a plan to improve visitor experiences and reduce congestion. Work began in 2020 and full implementation may take a decade.

 

About Us

Curious about who we are and our organizational structure? You can find out more on our staff and offices page or check out our publications page for authoritative information about the park. As always, you can visit us at a contact station or contact us for more information at any time.
 
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Our Staff & Offices

Park staff consists of permanent and seasonal employees organized by function under various divisions.

Drawing of indigenous people and a canoe

Publications

Find authoritative resources on park management, history, natural resources and more.

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Laws & Policies

Learn about the federal laws, policies, and guidelines that the National Park Service follows and enforces in Acadia National Park.

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Contact Us

Find up to date contact information for Acadia National Park including contact stations, emails, mailing addresses and phone numbers.

 

More About Managing Acadia National Park

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    Last updated: April 21, 2022

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    Contact Info

    Mailing Address:

    PO Box 177
    Bar Harbor , ME 04609

    Phone:

    207 288-3338

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