WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Angus King on Monday urged U.S Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to re-activate the Acadia National Park Advisory Commission.
Earlier this year, the Interior Department suspended meetings of all national park advisory commissions around the country while the National Park Service (NPS) conducts a review of them. As a result of that decision, the meeting of the Acadia Advisory Commission scheduled for June 5 was cancelled.
King told Zinke during a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that the Acadia Advisory Commission “makes a great contribution.”
“I think this is a case where the value to the park system in terms of good relations with its neighbors outweighs the fairly minor savings from the administrative costs associated, so I commend to you from personal experience the value of the advisory commissions,” King said.
Zinke responded that the purpose of the NPS review of the advisory commissions was to gain a better understanding of what they have accomplished over the years, according to a press release from King’s office. The release said Zinke, who was in Maine last week to tour the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, noted that any of the advisory commissions could apply for an exemption to the suspension if they would like to meet.
Last week, King and Sen. Susan Collins sent a letter to Zinke asking him to reconsider the suspension of the Acadia Advisory Commission.