WASHINGTON, D.C. — Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin on Monday formally requested that a U.S. House subcommittee hold a hearing before the end of the year on the Acadia National Park Boundary Clarification Act, which he introduced in January.
Sen. Angus King introduced an identical bill in the Senate.
The bill would validate Acadia’s annexation of 1,441 acres on the Schoodic Peninsula, including the Schoodic Woods Campground property, in 2015. It also would clarify that no further expansion of the park could occur without congressional approval.
“I have heard from hundreds of constituents that are pleased with the Schoodic Woods expansion, yet are very concerned as to whether the transfer is legal and, if yes, if it sets a precedent for other expansions that could occur in the future,” Poliquin wrote in his letter to the chairmen of the House Natural Resources Committee and the Subcommittee on Federal Lands.
The Acadia boundary bill also would allow the harvesting of clams and worms in the intertidal zone adjacent to the park. The National Park Service does not permit those traditional activities, but park officials have suspended enforcement pending congressional action.
Poliquin said in his letter that he has promised the harvesters that he would work “to ensure they can work on those mud flats without fear of losing their harvest or the pay that their families depend on.”
“Without this legislation moving forward,” he wrote, “I fear that the uncertainty for the local communities and for the hardworking shellfish harvesters will create unnecessary stress and conflict within the Bar Harbor region.”