Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge & Carlton Pond Waterfowl Production Area Comprehensive Conservation Planning
Planning for the Future
A comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) has been prepared for Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and Carlton Pond Waterfowl Production Area (WPA). Both areas are managed by Maine Coastal Islands NWR, located in Rockland, Maine. Provisions of the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 require the development of CCPs for all national wildlife refuges. The planning process involved public input, and considered 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 provides other agencies and the public with a clear understanding of the desired conditions for the refuge, and how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will implement management strategies.
Please visit Planning Process if you would like more information about the CCP process for Sunkhaze Meadows NWR and Carlton Pond WPA.
Latest News in Developing the CCP
We are pleased to announce the release of our final Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and Carlton Pond Waterfowl Production Area. This document represents years of work among Federal and State agencies, Tribes, local and regional officials and communities, conservation organizations, and other partners. To learn more, check out our latest newsletter.
How to Access the Document
To view or download the Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan, please click here.To view or download the Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment, please click here.
How to Obtain the Documents on Hard Copy or CD-ROM
If you would like to request a CD-ROM or paper copy of the final CCP or have any questions about the CCP and planning process, please contact:
IMPORTANT: Please note that names on the CCP mailing list become part of the public record for this project. The Service must release names only (not addresses) if requested under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act of 1974. To retain you on our mailing list we need your permission.
About Sunkhaze Meadows NWR and Carlton Pond WPA
Sunkhaze Meadows NWR 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.
Carlton Pond WPA is a 1,055-acre impounded wetland located in the town of Troy in Waldo County. The area was acquired by the Service in 1966 to protect the waterfowl and other wildlife associated with this area in central Maine. Carlton Pond WPA has historically provided good nesting habitat for waterfowl and other birds, and is one of the few areas in the State that provides nesting habitat for the black tern, which is State-listed as endangered. Many bird species that use Carlton Pond have been listed by the Partners-in-Flight organization as species that are declining. Slender blue flag iris, a plant species listed as threatened by the State of Maine, has also been observed at Carlton Pond.
For more information about Sunkhaze Meadows NWR, visit the refuge’s website.