Shutdown Could Shutter Acadia



ACADIA NAT’L PARK — If Congress fails to pass a federal budget or adopt another continuing resolution by midnight Friday, visitors here will likely find closed signs over the weekend.

Ocean Drive in Acadia National Park may be closed to visitors beginning Saturday morning unless Congress passes a federal budget or another continuing resolution. — ISLANDER PHOTO BY EARL BRECHLIN
Ocean Drive in Acadia National Park may be closed to visitors beginning Saturday morning unless Congress passes a federal budget or another continuing resolution. — ISLANDER PHOTO BY EARL BRECHLIN

 

Although most of the Park Loop Road is closed for the winter anyway, the Ocean Drive section that is open would be padlocked shut and visitor information services curtailed.

“We’re in limbo right now,” said deputy superintendent Len Bobinchock on Friday. He explained that the gates would be shut and some barricades put up, and signs notifying people of the closure would be put on park buildings early Saturday morning unless the budget stalemate was broken.

During the last budget shutdown in 1995, law enforcement rangers remained on duty, as they are classified as essential personnel.

If the shutdown continues through the beginning of the week, many federal employees at park headquarters in Bar Harbor would be ordered not to report.

Although the park roads may be closed, it does not mean people can’t hike, bike, or walk in areas of the park accessible via state and town roads. Unlike many parks, Acadia doesn’t have a single main entrance.

Providing the budget matter is resolved, plans call for the 22-mile-long Park Loop Road to open to motor vehicles on April 15.

For more of the latest news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.

 

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