The Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 acquired and established Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in 1988 to preserve the Sunkhaze Meadows peat bog and ensure public access to the environment and wildlife resources. This refuge is comprised of three units: the Sunkhaze Meadows Unit, the Benton Unit, and the Sandy Stream Unit. The Sunkhaze Meadows Unit is the largest of the three, at 11,485 acres. It is located in the Town of Milford, Penobscot County, ME, approximately 14 miles north of Bangor. The Benton Unit is a 334-acre former dairy farm in the Town of Benton in Kennebec County. The Sandy Stream Unit is a 58-acre parcel in the Town of Unity in Waldo County. The refuge was established in 1988 to ensure the ecological integrity of the Sunkhaze Meadows peat bog and the continued availability of its wetland, stream, forest, and wildlife resources to the citizens of the United States.
The Sunkhaze Meadows Unit protects the second-largest peatland in Maine. Sunkhaze Stream bisects this unit and, with its six tributaries, creates a diversity of wetland communities. The bog and stream wetlands, along with the adjacent, provide important habitat for many wildlife species. The Benton Unit is comprised of grassland, young mixed softwood-hardwood forest, and small wetland habitats. A variety of landbird species of conservation concern are known to breed there, including American woodcock, red-winged blackbird, and bobolink. The Sandy Stream Unit is mainly comprised of upland shrub, abandoned fields, and floodplain forest. Combined, the three units provide habitat for at least three plants, seven birds, two mollusks, and three invertebrates listed as endangered or threatened by the State of Maine.
Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is managed by Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuges.
Comprehensive Conservation Planning
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is starting the comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) process for Sunkhaze Meadows NWR. Provisions of the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 require the development of CCPs for all national wildlife refuges. The planning process involves public input, and will consider many elements of refuge management, including habitat and wildlife management, endangered and threatened species management, public use, refuge infrastructure, and proposals for special area designations. The CCP will provide other agencies and the public with a clear understanding of the desired conditions for the refuge, and how the Service will implement management strategies.
Please visit the Sunkhaze Meadows NWR Planning website if you would like more information about the CCP process and current status of the Sunkhaze Meadows NWR CCP.
P.O. Box 1735