Maine Natural Areas Program

 

159 Hospital Street

State House Station #93

Augusta, Maine 04333

 

 

 

Date:   November 14, 2001

To:      Matthew Nazar

From:  John McPhedran, Conservation Planner

Re:      Review of Frye Island Comprehensive Plan

 

 

 

The Maine Natural Areas Program (MNAP) has reviewed the comprehensive plan for the Town of Frye Island. MNAP has a strong commitment to conserving natural areas, which are those lands in Maine that support rare, threatened, and endangered plants and animals, and rare or exemplary natural communities. MNAP provides objective and comprehensive information to equip decision‑makers with the necessary tools to make informed and responsible decisions.

 

CONCLUSION: general observation re consistency with MNAP programs and policies

 

There are no documented rare or exemplary botanical features on Frye Island. The Frye Island Comprehensive Plan does, however, note the presence of a rare plant on the mainland ferry landing property in Raymond (see comments below).

 

OBJECTIONS: specific objections re consistency with MNAP programs

 

The Frye Island Comprehensive Plan states that the State Critical Areas Program has identified a conservation area where tupelo trees grow. The Critical Areas Program no longer exists. The Natural Areas Program does not track this tupelo stand since tupelo, while uncommon, is not considered rare in Maine.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS: measures Frye Island should take to address objections

 

1. Section 1.5.2., p. 36: Either remove reference to the Critical Areas Program or explain that the Critical Areas Program, which registered the tupelo stand as a Critical Area in January 1978, no longer exists. Tupelo is not a rare tree in Maine and is not tracked by the Natural Areas Program. The Town of Frye Island, however, may still choose to protect this area.

 

2. Section 1.5.2., pp. 36‑37: The rare plant (nodding pogonia) on the mainland ferry landing property is in the Town of Raymond but this is not clear in the text. The Frye Island Conservation Plan should refer to working with the Town of Raymond to protect this rare plant.

 

3. Section 3.4.2., p 86: The second policy on page 86 references the Habitat Consultation Areas Mapping Project; this service is no longer available from the Natural Areas Program. As noted under Conclusion above, there are no documented rare or exemplary botanical features on Frye Island. The lack of data may indicate minimal survey efforts rather than confirm the absence of rare botanical features. We recommend that the text of this policy be changed to the following: "Seek sources of funding for a comprehensive botanical survey of Frye Island, including identification of rare or exemplary botanical features."

 

4. Section 3.12, Goal 9., p. 99: In the first sentence, the correct name of our program is the Maine Natural Areas Program. The first sentence also states that "these resources have been mapped," but there may be unmapped resources such as rare botanical features that have yet to be located and documented. As noted above in recommendation #3, the lack of data may indicate minimal survey efforts rather than confirm the absence of rare botanical features. The Town may want to consider raising money to fund additional surveys of all critical natural resources.

The reference to critical areas in the second sentence should be deleted. The Town could include "habitat for rare plants" along with the reference to unique natural communities. As noted above, there are no documented rare plants or unique natural communities on Frye Island to date.