News Release

Draft management plan announced for Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

April 25, 2013

Contacts:
Beth Goettel, 207-594-0600, beth_goettel@fws.gov Lia McGLaughlin, 413-253-8575, lia_mclaughlin@fws.gov

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is releasing the draft comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and environmental assessment for Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and Carlton Pond Waterfowl Production Area in Milford, Maine. The draft document describes the three alternatives that were evaluated for management of the refuge for the next 15 years. It also provides an analysis of the potential effects on the environment from implementing each alternative.

The Service has identified alternative B as the preferred alternative for management of the refuge and waterfowl production area. Under alternative B, the Service would:

  • Focus on the preservation of the peatland-wetland complex and mature forest within the Sunkhaze Meadows Unit • Continue shrubland habitat management at the Sandy Stream Unit
  • Increase habitat management and monitoring efforts
  • Work with partners to update interpretive materials and displays and increase visitation
  • Expand public use programs on the refuge, including providing Service-led environmental education programs and improving maintenance of public use facilities, contingent on the addition of staff.

The draft plan will be available for public review and comment through May 31, 2013. We will consider all comments before implementing any alternative and completing a final CCP for the refuge and waterfowl production area. The document can be viewed online at http://www.fws.gov/northeast/planning/Sunkhaze%20Meadows/ccphome/html. A paper copy can be requested from the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge headquarters at 9 Water Street P.O. Box 1735, Rockland, ME 04841. Copies will also be available for viewing at the Old Town Public Library and the Dorothy Webb Quimby Library.

Comments may be submitted at public meetings, or via letters, faxes, phone calls, and e-mails. Send comments to northeastplanning@fws.gov with “Sunkhaze Meadows NWR” or “Carlton Pond WPA CCP” in the subject line. Mail comments to Lia McLaughlin at 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA 01035. Call or fax comments to 413-253-8468. Please email, fax, or postmark all comments by May 31, 2013.

Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1988 to preserve the Sunkhaze Meadows peat bog and ensure public access to the environment and wildlife resources. The refuge is comprised of three units conserving nearly 12,000 acres of land, the Sunkhaze Meadows Unit in Milford, the Benton Unit in Benton and the Sandy Stream Unit in Unity.

Carlton Pond Waterfowl Production Area was established in 1965 as a resting and breeding area for waterfowl, and for migratory birds. The waterfowl production area is 1,068 acres, and provides habitat for the State-listed black tern, as well as American black ducks, common goldeneye, and other waterfowl. It is located in the town of Troy, near Unity.

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