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Tough Times in Acadia NP


    From the best of my recollection, Acadia National Park very likely was the first national park I had ever visited. I was a youngster from New Jersey whose family headed north to spend the annual summer vacation sampling the Maine coast.
    It was an incredible time, full of so many sights and smells that I wasn't accustomed to in New Jersey. I made my first return to Acadia in, ahem, roughly four decades, last summer and it was as if I had never left. That's why news of budget cuts in the park struck a nerve.
    According to the Bar Harbor Times, the prospect of a $400,000 shortfall forced park officials to cut three seasonal positions from their budget, cut short the employment periods of other seasonals, and delay the hiring of full-time employees to offset the shortage. Among the positions being shortened or eliminated are law-enforcement rangers and lifeguards at Sand Beach and Echo Lake. Among the positions not being filled is that of park botanist, a role that Deputy Superintendent Len Bobinchock terms a "critical position in the park."
    Kinda puts a new perspective on National Park Service Director Fran Mainella's belief that the agency, in light of budget cuts, is still managing to meet the challenge of operating the parks, don't ya think?


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