Acadia National Park's centennial summer is almost in the rear view mirror, and the crowd of visitors has been huge as expected, or in some cases, feared! Various indicators suggest that traffic and business in general around Mount Desert Island could be up as much as 40%.
It is ironic that all of this positive economic activity is happening around and because of a beloved national park, while at the same time folks in the economically stressed Katahdin region are arguing over the designation of a new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument with about 88,000 acres of land donated by Roxanne Quimby.!
We at MountDesertIsland.Net have always valued our freedom and independence very highly, and we tend to be sympathetic to those who resist too much government control. However, we also recognize the value of preserving Maine's dramatic, unspoiled coast and her vast northern wilderness in the face of rapidly increasing development pressure. What to do?
In our opinion, government involvement is not always a bad thing. Sometimes it is necessary to protect the public interest, whether that interest be economic, aesthetic, or both. The establishment of the National Park Service 100 years ago and the designation of our many National Parks like Acadia has been described by Ken Burns as America's best idea. While some development interests might be unhappy, we believe most people would agree that National Parks have been a win, win situation for almost everyone. They preserve and protect our most scenic areas ,and draw visitors from all over the world who provide significant economic stimulus to local, often rural, communities.
As some 2.5 million, and perhaps as many as 3.5 million visitors to Mount Desert Island each year can attest, Acadia National Park is a highly regarded and essential part of our island community. Working closely with other non-profit conservation organizations like Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the Nature Conservancy, and Friends of Acadia, the Park provides a steady hand guiding our dramatic, unusual and incredibly beautiful landscape safely through the buffeting winds of change!
Congratulations, Thank You, and Happy Birthday Acadia! Here's to the next 100 years!