Hundreds of places in Acadia at risk of development

At Acadia, families and friends have a unique opportunity to experience Maine’s most striking natural beauty — from taking in the views of Frenchman’s Bay atop Cadillac Mountain to biking on the 45 miles of carriage roads to exploring trails like the Precipice and Beehive.

Yet, Acadia is scattered with “holes” — about 130 tracts of land within the park that are privately owned and at risk of being developed. When people who own this land want to sell it to the park so it’s permanently protected, they can’t — because the park doesn’t have the resources to purchase it.

As a result, iconic places like Burnt Porcupine Island and Rum Key are not permanently protected. These gorgeous undeveloped islands are covered with shingle beaches, steep cliffs, and forests that support an array of coastal species, including the bald eagle. If houses were built on the islands, they would threaten these unique ecosystems and be highly visible from the park.

We need to protect every acre of Acadia for future generations.

Unfortunately, with Acadia suffering from chronic budget shortfalls, it’s too easy to picture treasured pieces of Maine’s natural heritage being sold off to the highest bidder.

Maine's senators have the opportunity to protect Acadia

Each year, Congress raids the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the program dedicated to protecting treasured places like Acadia National Park, and uses the money for other purposes.

But Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King have the chance to fix the program so that Acadia has the resources it needs to permanently protect all of the land within its boundaries. Environment Maine is bringing citizens together to convince Sens. Collins and King to make protecting Acadia a top priority in the new Congress and leave a lasting legacy for future generations of Mainers.

If enough of us speak out, we can ensure Acadia is protected, forever. Join our campaign by sending Sens. Collins and King a message today.


Preservation Updates

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The Tipping Point

This spring, a long-simmering debate boiled over into the halls and chambers of the State House, with the introduction of a bill that sought to eliminate the Land Use Regulation Commission altogether, and with it the state’s role in overseeing planning and development in its vast, 10.4 million acre jurisdiction. The bill — sponsored by Representative Jeffrey Gifford (R-Lincoln) and championed by Senate President Kevin Raye (R-Perry) — sought to transfer these powers to the counties, which in Maine have long been entities of little consequence and limited powers. Were it to be enacted, the North Woods would no longer be governed as a single unit by a state agency, but rather as eight jurisdictions, each controlled by a separate set of county commissioners.

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Acadia National Park plans expansion on MDI

With the help of some nonprofit organizations, the park is planning to grow on Mount Desert Island by more than 50 acres, according to a park official.

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Letter to the editor, June 8, 2011: Save LURC

Thomas Varney writes about his positive experiences with LURC in a letter to the editor.

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Letters to the editor, May 29, 2011: Abolishing LURC would do North Woods no good at all

As a Mainer, hiker and resident, Laura Suarez is disappointed at the little coverage given to Gov. LePage's attacks on the North Woods.

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Legislature should take more time on LURC

A legislative committee took a step in the right direction this week by saying it needed more time to implement a plan to abolish the Land Use Regulation Commission and shift all its authority to county governments. The committee ought to go a little further, however, and take the time to ask if abolishing LURC is really a good idea at all.

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