WASHINGTON, DC – Home Secretary Deb Haaland traveled to Maine this week to meet with tribal leaders, elected officials and other stakeholders. The secretary’s two-day trip included several gatherings and events with tribal leaders from the Wabanaki nations, who focused on strengthening tribal sovereignty to ensure tribal leaders protect the health and well-being of their people, natural and cultural resources, and their reservations and can promote.
During a visit to Acadia National Park in Maine this week, Minister Haaland and Maine Electors highlighted the significant investments by the Biden-Harris government in public land and national parks that create and support local jobs, help modernize parks and park infrastructure, and will invest in conservation efforts.
“One of the best investments we can make is protecting the land and waters that feed us and future generations. The Home Office is making critical investments across the country that will create tens of thousands of jobs, protect the environment and help national parks and public land meet the challenges of climate change and increased visitor numbers, ”said Foreign Secretary Deb Haaland. “Acadia National Park is a great engine of Maine’s economy, and we are determined to make much-needed investments to preserve, protect, and support these special places while empowering local businesses and communities.”
Secretary Haaland toured several locations in Acadia National Park that have proposed, continued, and completed federal projects to improve visitor access and enhance the park experience, including Mount Desert Island, Cadillac Mountain, and Frenchman Bay.
The secretary highlighted several of these investments during her visit, including:
- Rehabilitation of Schoodic Point water and sewage systems: With $ 7.6 million in funding from the Great American Outdoors Act’s National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund in fiscal year 2022, this project will rehabilitate the drinking water and sewer systems in Acadia’s Schoodic District, which were built around the 1970s and were modified in various places in the following years and have aged beyond their useful life. More than 250,000 visitors use the facilities of this remote location each year. Improved water and wastewater treatment systems reduce the likelihood of environmental pollution and the impairment of the health and safety of visitors and employees. This project will also help tackle more than $ 5 million in delayed maintenance for the park.
- Increased funds for nature conservation: President Biden’s proposed fiscal 2022 budget includes a $ 1.3 million increase in funding for the management and conservation of natural resources in Acadia National Park, including support for the Schoodic Education and Research Center, which is part of the Facilitating interdisciplinary research contributes to the understanding of the natural and cultural resources of the national park system and related research at regional, national and international levels. This investment will fund additional staff in the park and center who will focus on natural resource management.
- Improving visitor access to Acadia: Fiscal 2022 has a budget of $ 200,000 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for Acadia National Park, which will be used to purchase land for use as a public transportation hub and for parking to gain access to Mount’s only lighthouse Desert Island in Acadia National Park.
In 2020, 2.7 million park visitors spent an estimated $ 307 million in local gateway regions while visiting national parks in Maine. That spending supported more than 4,500 jobs, $ 149 million in labor income, $ 267 million in value added, and $ 453.6 million in economic output in the Maine economy.
The National Park Service says it is also expanding visitor services to welcome visitors to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in northern Maine, a new entity that is already contributing to the local economy. Fiscal 2022 budget request provides an additional $ 675,000 to expand visitor service and resource management, including support for the new visitor center due to open in 2021.
For more information on the Ministry of Interior’s proposed budget, please visit our FY22 budget website.
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