ACADIA NAT’L PARK — The decision last week by Ryan Zinke, secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, to lift the suspension of national park advisory commissions across the country as of Sept. 1 means the Acadia Advisory Commission can meet as scheduled Sept. 11.
“It’s perfect timing,” commission Chairman Jackie Johnston said. “I’m excited. We were advised that we can begin to communicate with our commission members in preparation for the meeting.”
The commission’s June 5 meeting was cancelled after Zinke announced in mid-May that the activities of all such citizen advisory panels were being suspended while his department reviewed their memberships, budgets and accomplishments over the past five years.
The Acadia Advisory Commission was created in 1986 to serve as a liaison between the park and its neighboring towns. Ten of its 16 members are appointed by those communities’ town boards. Three members are appointed by the governor of Maine and three by the U.S. secretary of the interior.
The commission typically meets three times a year to hear updates from park officials on various projects and plans, and to offer feedback. The meetings also are a forum for the public to ask questions or express concerns about any aspect of park operations.
“The advisory commission is a critical link between the park and surrounding communities, and we value the commission’s insight and feedback,” Acadia Superintendent Kevin Schneider said. “We look forward to continuing our discussions on a number of important topics, including transportation planning and visitor use.”
The commission’s September meeting is to be held at the Schoodic Institute.