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Current Advocacy Alert

Advocacy Alert 36 – November 4, 2014

Please support proposed fee increases at Acadia National Park by attending a public meeting on November 12, 2014 or by sending in your comments by December 8, 2014.

In a nutshell…
The National Park Service has recommended increasing entrance fees and campground fees at Acadia and other national parks in order to update and standardize the fees across the country. A public meeting will be held in Bar Harbor on November 12th to gather public input, and comments may also be submitted via email or mail before December 8th. Friends of Acadia supports these fee increases because they will provide critical funding for park maintenance projects and will bring the campground fees in line with campgrounds outside the park. Even with the proposed increases, the rates will remain a great value for all that a national park experience offers to visitors. This is the first rate increase proposed at Acadia in a decade.

Background
The National Park Service has proposed raising Acadia’s entrance fees and campground fees as listed below:

Entrance Pass Type Current Amount Proposed for 2015
Annual Acadia Pass $40 $50
7-day park entrance with vehicle $20 $25
7-day park entrance with motorcycle N/A $20
7-day park entrance, one person without vehicle $5 $12
Camping Fee Type Current Amount Proposed for 2015
Walk-in tent site $14/night $22/night
Tent/small RV site $20/night $30/night
RV with electric N/A $36/night
RV with water and electric N/A $40/night
Group $50/night $60/night

Friends of Acadia supports these changes because they will provide critical funding for campground operations and for park maintenance projects. Although it’s unfortunate that the NPS did not recommend the fee increase to Acadia National Park managers in time for it to be incorporated with the 2014 effort to increase fee compliance at Acadia, it is nonetheless evident that the proposed fee increase is in the best interests of the park. Acadia National Park retains 80% of the entrance fees here at the park and uses them to address critical backlog maintenance projects such as rehabilitation of the trails and carriage roads, building repairs, and replacement of sewer and water lines. The fee increases would not take effect until 2015.

Action You Can Take:
Please support the fee increase at a public meeting called by the National Park Service at the Bar Harbor Municipal Building on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. If you are unable to attend this meeting, you can also submit comments by December 8, 2014 via email to acadia_information@nps.gov or by mail to:

Superintendent Sheridan Steele
ATTN: Fee Change Comments
Acadia National Park
P.O. Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME  04609

Talking Points:
•    National parks provide an inexpensive, highly valuable family vacation. Acadia National Park’s 7-day entrance pass is comparable to the price of many half-day outdoor excursions in the area, and it’s good for a whole family for seven days. Most visitors view the park entrance pass as a positive way to contribute to the preservation and maintenance of the park that is the focal point of their trip.
•    Acadia National Park entrance pass prices have not risen in the last 10 years. Prices of park entrance passes have not kept up with the rate of inflation, yet the park’s operating costs have increased significantly. An adjustment is needed to help national parks keep up.
•    National park budgets have gradually been eroded by Congress. Over the last four years, the National Park Service operating budget has been reduced by 8% in today’s dollars. The National Park Service construction budget has been cut nearly in half. Stronger Congressional appropriations are needed, but the National Park Service should do all that it can to generate more revenue through increasing pass prices, improving fee compliance rates, and selling park passes online.
•    Increasing camping fees will bring Acadia’s campgrounds more in line with fees at campgrounds in the local area. It is mutually beneficial for national parks and their surrounding communities to compare campsite prices and services offered, to ensure that parks do not create a significant competitive disadvantage for local businesses. Raising the camping fees at this time is prudent.
•    Tell the National Park Service your story. What has Acadia meant to you and your family? Why is it important to you to purchase a park entrance pass each year?

For more information, contact Friends of Acadia Conservation Director Stephanie Clement at 207-288-3340 or stephanie@friendsofacadia.org.

 

This Advocacy Alert was sent to citizens who have expressed interest in joining the Acadia Advocacy Network. If you would like to be added to or removed from the network, email stephanie@friendsofacadia.org with “Advocacy Network” in the subject line and a brief note specifying your preference. Thank you for your support of Friends of Acadia and for weighing in on issues of importance to Acadia National Park.