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Transfer Snag at Petit Manan

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Postby Grover1 » Wed Jan 05, 2005 5:26 am


Good Morning ...

Saw this this morning ... passing it along

http://www.bangornews.com/news/template ... 6185&z=177

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Postby Keeper » Wed Jan 05, 2005 2:09 pm


I don't mean to sound overly critical, but I can't understand why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service didn't go for ownership right off the bat. Instead, they resisted the idea until well into the NHLPA process. It would definitely be a very tough situation for any other owner, with the lighthouse being surrounded by the wildlife refuge.

But I can't help wondering about the commitment of the USFWS to lighthouse preservation, given the fact that they own several others in Maine yet state on this web page -- http://petitmanan.fws.gov/lighthouses.html -- "The Fish and Wildlife Service is not in the business of managing lighthouses. We are, however, concerned with protecting nesting habitat for seabirds..." I happen to think the preservation of both lighthouses and wildlife are not mutually exclusive.

I did a site visit report on Petit Manan Light a few months ago -- see:

http://www.lighthousefoundation.org/petit%26goose.cfm

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Postby beachbum1616 » Wed Jan 05, 2005 8:46 pm


Jeremy,

What is the condition of the lighthouse? Is it in need of restoration or just some TLC? The reason I ask is that other lighthouses (like Cape Romain) are in "wildlife" areas and for that reason, restoration is basically out of the question due to location and the laws that be governing construction/work in that area. Would this be a similar situation here?
Stephen

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Postby island » Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:04 pm


This is an interesting subject. The Petit Manan lighthouse property was not included in the properties offered for transfer by the Maine Lights legislation because it was already "owned" by U. S. Fish and Wildlife and was a signifcant part of the Petit Manan Wildlife Refluge.

The Maine Lights legislation did transfer "ownership" of four other island lighthouse properties to F & W. In actuality, this property is still owned by the United States, not owned by F&W. F&W stated at the time they did not have budget money for maintenance of the light towers so who is to maintain them? Should funds be tranferred from the CG budget to F&W to maintain these towers or should the CG still be required to maintain them?

The Maine Lights legislation also described the order of priority of property transfer: Federal agencys first, then State entities, local government entities, and lastly, qualified non-profit. The National Historic Lighthouse Preseration Act does not include such language yet it has been the practice to transfer property from one federal agency to another before other non-federal entities.

Lastly. What the heck does F&W want with the Petit Manan tower? Perhaps they wish to use it a nesting site for Perigrin Falcons. But that would seem counter productive to the F&W efforts to protect and enhance other bird populations on this island.
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Postby plebetkin » Fri Jan 07, 2005 8:18 am


could this be an attempt to prevent people from another group from visiting the lighthouse to maintain it? The worry here, as stated elsewhere above, is that no one will end up maintaining the lighthouse structure itself.
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Postby Keeper » Fri Jan 07, 2005 8:26 am


In reply to Stephen -- I think if you look at my site visit report you'll get a good idea of the condition of the lighthouse. It appears to be structurally sound, but the interior could use some serious work. My guess would be that it would cost at least $200,000 to get the tower restored to top condition, inside and out. That's just a rough guess. Any work here is expensive due to the difficulty of getting materials on the island, plus work can only take place outside of the nesting season.

It's obvious to me that USFWS doesn't really "want" the Petit Manan Lighthouse; they simply would prefer to limit everybody else's access to the island. As far as I'm concerned, this would be fine if they 1) gave some indication that they care about historic preservation, and 2) allowed some sort of public access. For instance, they could have an open house weekend in the fall after the bird nesting season.

But the logistics of getting on the island are tough. This will never be a tourist destination, and like many other remote lighthouse locations, that's part of the problem with its future preservation.
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