Signs posted during the last closure of Acadia National Park due to a Congressional budget impass. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Park ready for possible shut down

ACADIA NAT’L PARK — Acadia officials are prepared to close the park if a “continuing resolution” to keep the federal government funded and avoid a partial shutdown isn’t passed by Congress and signed by the president by midnight Friday. Planning meetings began at Acadia on Monday.

The political situation in Washington, D.C., shifted several times this week. As of Wednesday, it appeared likely that a shutdown could be averted.

Park spokesman John Kelly said that if a shutdown does occur, “The park will be closed; everything will be off limits.”

That includes hiking trails. If a ranger sees people on a trail, “They will be asked to leave,” Kelly said.

The gates at all entrances to the Park Loop Road will be locked, and there will be barricades at other access points.

Kelly said that in the event of a government shutdown, only those employees who are considered “essential personnel” will be on the job. Those include the superintendent and deputy superintendent, the park’s law enforcement rangers and one maintenance worker each in the Mount Desert Island and Schoodic Peninsula sections of the park to keep the water and sewage systems operating properly.

The last time there was a partial government shutdown due to a budget impasse, in October 2013, the park was closed for 17 days.

Updated on Wednesday, April 26, at 11:02 a.m.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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