Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 2015


Through the intrepid efforts of George Bucknam Dorr and the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations (HCTPR), Acadia National Park fostered a preservation frontier in the Eastern United States. As a trustee organization, the HCTPR was one of the first in the world to gather lands together with the express mission of preserving them for public use and recreation. While summer residents had more than enough money and legal right to divide up the island between themselves in private ownership, through a distinctive philanthropic effort they donated land and funds to the creation of a shared public space. Federal protection arrived on Mount Desert Island when Sieur De Monts was created as a National Monument, saving a unique natural space in the midst of a rapidly industrializing world. The arduous process of shepherding land from National Monument to National Park was driven by Dorr’s passion and tenacity, making Acadia the first National Park east of the Mississippi River. Finally, as the park approaches its centennial, its future is uncertain due to political happenings and environmental change. Its appreciation and protection is of paramount importance.

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