June 08, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) pressed Acting Director of the National Park Service Michael T. Reynolds on the U.S. Interior Department’s recent decision to suspend all National Park Advisory Commissions across the country, including Acadia National Park’s in Maine. In his remarks, Senator King highlighted the importance of the commission for Acadia and its surrounding communities, emphasizing that the decision to suspend it was shortsighted and removed critical local input.
“I do think it’s very important for any national lands, but particularly for national parks, for the area to have a voice in the activities and provide information to the National Park Service and to the local park,” Senator King said. “I know that the Acadia Park Advisory Commission has been very important in the local community and so I hope that this pause, as you characterize it, will be a short one and that we can get our advisory committee back up and running.”
Acting Director Reynolds said in response that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke suspended the commissions to review their efficacy and contributions. He continued that he had visited Acadia and believed the commission’s work “will be well-received by this review at this point and we’ll keep a close eye on it.”
The Acadia National Park Advisory Commission is a bridge between the Interior Department, Maine State government, and the communities surrounding Acadia National Park. The purpose of the commission is to advise the Secretary of the Interior on matters relating to management and development of the park.