In a ceremony held this past spring, Wisconsin's Plum and Pilot Islands were officially transferred from Coast Guard jurisdiction to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to become part of the Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
The Plum Island Lighthouse Station, consisting of a set of range lighthouses, the Pilot Island Lighthouse Station and the Plum Island U.S. Life Saving Service/Coast Guard Life Saving Station, all were allowed to deteriorate in what may have been one of the worst cases of government bureaucracy gone wild in lighthouse preservation history. They are now part of the Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service received ownership through a deed transfer even though they admit they have no money in their budget to restore the historic buildings. Even if they had money, they probably would not help the historic buildings, because they are more interested in protecting the wildlife, which, as far as this author is concerned, is in itself a total disrespect to the lives of the men and women who dedicated themselves to saving others while living on the islands.
To the rescue come the volunteers of the Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands who have been diligently working behind the scenes to save these historic buildings. They are working hard in partnering with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. They believe that the transfer of ownership is a positive step and that the historic structures can now be saved, all while protecting the ecological resources of the islands.
This story appeared in the
August 2008 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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