Acadia National Park will remain open and patrolled but without many of its normal services during the partial shutdown of the federal government that came into effect early Saturday.
The shuttering of the federal government — which began overnight after President Trump scuttled a bipartisan spending deal — will likely be little noticed at Acadia, which draws few tourists and normally has many roads closed this time of year. Still, local supporters of the park decried the interruptions in service.
“Even though it is much quieter here at Acadia compared to just a few weeks ago, a government shutdown is never good news for our national parks,” said David MacDonald, president of the group Friends of Acadia, in a statement. “All through the year, park staff are at work preserving and protecting park resources, and Friends of Acadia hates to see these professionals sidelined by a shutdown, knowing that Acadia is already underfunded and understaffed.”
The impasse between the White House and congressional Democrats over the president’s demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border will send hundreds of thousands of federal workers home without pay until a deal is reached.
In Acadia, this includes the staff who would normally provide public information, collect trash, open bathrooms and plow the roads, a National Parks Service spokeswoman said Saturday.
Park Rangers, however, will continue to patrol as normal and all national parks will “remain as accessible as possible” during the shutdown, according Christie Anastasia, Acadia’s public information officer.
The shutdown, the third in two years, is most likely to be felt by locals in the areas around Acadia in the event of snow.
As long as the shutdown is in effect, the few roads and parking lots that are open throughout the winter, including sections of Park Loop Road, will not be plowed. Much of the road will close if there’s “hazardous conditions,” Anastasia said, but Schoodic Loop will remain open and plowed for employee use.
The hiking paths and carriage roads at Acadia will remain open but not be groomed for skiing, according to Anastasia, and all bathrooms in the park will be closed.
“We hope that officials in Washington, D.C., can find a way to step away from the recent cycle of impasse, shutdown, eventual compromise and reopening, which only confuses and inconveniences the public and adds to the burden of those who care for our most treasured natural resources,” MacDonald said.
BDN staff writer Bill Trotter contributed reporting.