When National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis came to Maine this month to gauge local opposition and support for a proposed Katahdin-area national monument, he got an earful.
Gary Allen, founder of Mount Desert Island Marathon, used this photo of Katahdin, as seen from Millinocket, on Facebook, to try to help the local economy with a Millinocket Marathon & Half in December. Outdoor recreation can bring much needed jobs and dollars. (Image courtesy of Gary Allen)
Over the years, we’ve hiked and backpacked all through Maine, along the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in the state, and in Baxter State Park. We’ve climbed all the mountains that are 4000 feet and higher in the state, as well as the 26 coastal peaks of Acadia on Mount Desert Island. In our travels, we’ve seen how Millinocket and other paper mill towns have struggled economically. And we’ve seen the hustle and bustle of Bar Harbor and other towns that have diversified their economy to include tourism and outdoor recreation.
While the Katahdin and Acadia areas seem worlds apart, these 5 lessons apply to both. Continue reading →
Bolstering the case for national parks as an economic engine, a new report shows Acadia’s 2.8 million visitors last year pumped $247.9 million into the regional economy, while across the country, a record-setting 307.2 million visitors to all national parks spent $16.9 billion.
The report is sure to be brought up by supporters of a proposed national monument in the Katahdin region, which has been hit hard by paper mill closures, even as some area residents and officials vehemently oppose the idea, with Patten the most recent to reject it, by a 121-53 vote on April 19.
Acadia National Park’s 2.8 million visitors spent $247.9 million in 2015, according to a new National Park Service report. (NPS graphic)
The parks’ economic impact is the most measured since the National Park Service refined its visitor spending analysis model in 2012. How Acadia boosts economy and other parks around the country affect whole regions is expected to be even greater this year, with more visitors anticipated during the Centennial year for both Acadia and the National Park Service.
“The big picture of national parks and their importance to the economy is clear,” said National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, in releasing the report late yesterday, during National Park Week. “Each tax dollar invested in the National Park Service effectively returns $10 to the US economy because of visitor spending that works through local, state and the US economy.”
While the park service hasn’t publicly taken a position on Burt’s Bees founder Roxanne Quimby’s proposal to donate what’s now known as Katahdin Woods & Waters Recreation Area for a national monument or national park, the report will certainly add to the broiling controversy. Continue reading →
It didn’t receive a lot of attention, but U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell revealed some nuggets about her agenda for National Parks — and her personal life – during a sweeping speech at Acadia National Park.
US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. Department of the Interior photo.
In her remarks at the Schoodic Education and Research Center on Aug. 15, Jewell touched on a wide range of topics, including the challenges of stingy federal spending on parks, the need to start preparing a new generation of potential rangers and other National Park personnel, the scary effects of global warming on federal lands and the important role of the parks as science classrooms for youths.
Jewell, 58, the former CEO of REI, a national outdoor retail company, started on a personal note.
She said that her visit to Acadia National Park on Friday brought back memories of the first time she traveled to the Maine park 37 years ago. Continue reading →
UPDATE: Emily Beyer, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of the Interior, confirmed that Sally Jewell will be making her first visit to Acadia National Park as secretary. In an e-mail, Beyer said to stay tuned for further details on the secretary’s upcoming visit to the park.
Here is original story:
US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis and David Rockefeller, Jr. are all scheduled to speak on Aug. 15 during a special event at the Schoodic Education and Research Center at Acadia National Park.
This is apparently the first time that Jewell will be visiting Acadia as Secretary of the Interior. She previously visited the park in October 2012 in her former role as a member of the board of trustees for the National Parks Conservation Association. A message has been left with the Department of the Interior’s press office to find out more about Jewell’s visit.
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell celebrated National Park Week in 2013 with a student studying nature. Department of the Interior photo.
According to a special message from the president of the Schoodic Institute, officials at the event will be celebrating Acadia’s recent No. 1 ratings in a couple of separate polls by two giant media outlets.
“It is a testimonial to the success of superintendent Sheridan Steele, the National Park Service, and everyone who contributes to making the Acadia region such a great place to visit,” said Schoodic Institute President Mark Berry in the institute’s August newsletter. Continue reading →