Sunkhaze input sought

Posted April 04, 2011, at 12:15 p.m.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is beginning the scoping phase of a Comprehensive Conservation Plan for Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and Carlton Pond Waterfowl Production Area Maine. Public comments will be accepted until April 30. To send comments:

  • Email: northeastplanning@fws.gov. Include “Sunkhaze Meadows” in the subject line.
  • Fax: Lia McLaughlin, 413-253-8468
  • Mail Lia McLaughlin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Dr., Hadley, MA 01035
  • Drop off comments during regular business hours at Milford Town Hall, 62 Davenport St., Milford, ME 04461.

The service has identified some preliminary issues, concerns and opportunities to be addressed in the CCP, including:

  • Biological program issues such as habitat and species management needs, protection, restoration, monitoring, inventories and research.
  • Public use program issues such as breadth and quality of programs, public access user conflicts, and use impacts on natural resources.
  • Community relations and outreach issues and opportunities with Federal State and Tribal Governments and with nongovernmental conservation partners.
  • Potential for both wilderness and wild and scenic rivers designations of refuge lands.

    In addition to written comments, meetings will be held to provide the public with another opportunity to participate in the scoping process for the CCP. Public meetings are set for:

    • 2-4 and 6:30-8:30 p.m. April 12, Milford, 62 Davenport St., Milford;
    • 4-8 p.m. April 13, South Co-op building 10, Art Gallery, Unity College, 90 Quaker Hill Road, Unity.

      Additional public involvement opportunities will be offered when the draft plan is available for review. While public scoping officially ends on April 30, written comments will be accepted throughout the process.

      Sunkhaze Meadows NWR is comprised of three units, the Sunkhaze Meadows Unit, the Benton Unit and the Sandy Stream Unit. Sunkhaze Meadows is the largest unit at 11,485 acres in Milford. This unit protects the second-largest peat land in Maine. It was established 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 public. It also protects bog and stream wetlands that provide important habitat for many wildlife species.

      For more information, visit www.fws.gov/northeast/me/sunkhazemeadows/.

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