ACADIA NAT’L PARK — The impact of the partial shutdown of the federal government will have a mostly delayed impact on Acadia.
The shutdown is having little effect on the visitor experience because the park normally provides few visitor services this time of year.
But winter is when a lot of the park’s out-of-the-public-eye work typically gets done, and it won’t be getting done as long as the shutdown continues.
Park officials have not been available for comment — they are furloughed because of the shutdown.
But David MacDonald, president and CEO of Friends of Acadia, points out in an op-ed piece in this edition of the Islander that important work — planning, maintenance, scientific research and the of hiring seasonal rangers — is on hold. And some of that lost work time will be hard to make up.
“In a complex and heavily visited park like Acadia that is already considerably under-funded and under-staffed by Congress, to put 75 staff members on the sidelines for three weeks or more is to put these dedicated professionals further behind the eight-ball in fulfilling their mission,” MacDonald writes.