National Park Service (NPS) planners prepare a variety of planning and environmental documents to help guide park management. These documents can range from detailed site-specific impact analyses on facility locations to topic-specific plans for future use and management of particular focus areas. Park plans must also be consistent with all other applicable laws, regulations, and policies at the federal, state, and local levels. Two key laws which guide park planning are the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), which partially dictate the processes and methods by which park plans are developed and their potential impacts and effects are analyzed.
Learn more about some of the larger scale planning efforts that have guided the future of Acadia National Park.
Transportation PlanAcadia National Park began a planning effort tn summer 2015 to address traffic congestion, public safety, resource protection, and visitor experience concerns.The process took a great deal of time, energy, collaboration, and input by neighboring town governments, chambers of commerce, industry partners, communities, stakeholders, staff, and the public. Key components of the plan include the Island Explorer bus system, vehicle reservation systems, tour bus management, infrastructure construction and improvements, ongoing monitoring, and an adaptive management approach. Learn more on our Transportation Plan page.
Park Foundation DocumentThe Foundation Document for Acadia National Park, first published in September 2016, is now available for free download online (80 pages, 16.5 MB, PDF, screen reader accessible). Every unit of the national park system will have a foundational document to provide basic guidance for planning and management decisions—a foundation for planning and management. The core components of a foundation document include a brief description of the park as well as the park’s purpose, significance, fundamental resources and values, other important resources and values, and interpretive themes. The foundation document also includes special mandates and administrative commitments, an assessment of planning and data needs that identifies planning issues, planning products to be developed, and the associated studies and data required for park planning.
General Management PlanThe park's 1992 General Management Plan was the last full scale General Management Plan for the park. Management plans provide direction and guidance on a variety of issues and topics such as resource preservation, visitor use, development, and boundary management. Parks can develop management plans to meet broad park management goals or to address specific park issues, and these plans often articulate management objectives and describe future conditions.
Plans are prepared by interdisciplinary teams including the park superintendent and staff, landscape architects, community planners, specialists in natural and cultural resources, environmental design specialists, concessions management specialists, interpretation experts, and professionals in other fields, as needed.
Climbing Management PlanClimbing has been a popular activity in Acadia for a very long time.
In 1997 a Climbing Management Plan was completed with public input, and it continues to guide climbing management in the park. Development of this plan, along with legislative mandates and NPS policy, helped formulate the regulations and guidelines described here. As an important part of climbing management, a Climbing Advisory Group consisting of climbers, park staff, and others makes recommendations to the superintendent on climbing issues. The advisory group works through the existing Acadia National Park Advisory Commission.
Climbing Management ActionsThe following management actions have been taken since the Climbing Management Plan was approved:
Last updated: April 25, 2022