Week Three: Natural Resource Management

This week we continued to hit the trails but also got the opportunity to learn about how resources are managed in Acadia National Park. The complex systems of human use and natural resources demand constant supervision and management.

Chris Buckzo talked with us about the coordination of resource management and the laws that govern how Acadia operates. One big take away was the balancing of competing values. Funding, resources, maintenance, public opinion and laws are among the many issues to be considered while making decisions. The people who chose for one week out of the year to vacation here have to be taken into consideration when managing the timing, equipment and impacts of projects. It is all about balance and looking at the broad picture of public use, as well as the health of the natural and cultural resources.

Bob Page and Chris Beagan joined us this week from the Olmsted Center. Their enthusiasm was much appreciated and put to use out on the trails. Until this point, we have been inventorying in three teams of two people. A fourth team was added this week, thanks to their help. We will continue to use a fourth team to get more of the trails completed.

Sustainability is another topic that is being tackled by the park staff. It is a complex problem to adapt landscapes in a way that will perpetuate their historic character. One of the main ways we should move forward is by making current designs more adaptable and resilient. Change is inevitable, but the overall character of the landscape can be preserved. The trails maintenance team at Acadia does a great job at this.

We had the unique opportunity to hear from Stephanie Clement, who is the conservation director of Friends of Acadia. This non-profit organization works diligently to preserve and protect Acadia for current and future generations. Their work consists of volunteering, securing funding and managing endowments. Friends of Acadia set up the nation’s first endowed trail system: Acadia Trails Forever. The efficacy of this endowment is the major reason the hiking trail system is in such good shape today. We greatly appreciate it.

On Thursday, we had an exciting visit to the landscape architecture firm, LARK studio in Bar Harbor. They are a new firm and it was exciting to see their dedication and attitude, as well as the projects they have worked on. They have worked on master plans, residences, community planning, commercial projects and projects in Acadia. It’s always great to see how a firm operates and the impact they have on the surrounding communities.

The amount of people in Bar Harbor has skyrocketed since we got here. July 1st marked the beginning of Acadia’s peak season, and the holiday weekend brought many visitors. We were able to view the fireworks on Saturday night from Agamont Park on the waterfront. They were some of the best fireworks we’ve ever seen!

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Working on the top of Dorr Mountain

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Wildlife along the trails

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Barred Owl

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Sunday excursion to Bass Harbor

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Sketching the lighthouse

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On the drive back to Bar Harbor

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