In April 2013, Representatives Michaud and Pingree introduced Bill H.R. 1808, the Maine Coastal Islands Wilderness Act of 2013 which would designate 3,125 acres on 13 of the 59 islands in the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness due to their wild character, ecological features, and opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation.
The Maine Coastal Islands NWR supports an incredible diversity of biological communities ranging from coastal islands to salt marshes, and its islands provide habitat for a wide variety of migratory seabirds, waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, songbirds, and raptors, as well as hosting a diversity of other wildlife species and plants.
Wilderness Designation prescribes a “light touch” management approach to ensure that mature forested habitats are retained and motor vehicles do not damage these fragile islands. Wilderness Designation provides the greatest level of protection for federal lands and an Act of Congress is needed to designate land as wilderness.
The vote on this legislation will be coming up this winter.