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- LANDOWNER INCENTIVE PROGRAM: UPCOMING APPLICATION PERIOD AND INFORMATION SESSIONS; 2008 HIGHLIGHTS
- AUTUMN OUTDOOR SAFETY TIPS
- REMAINING ANTLERLESS DEER PERMITS ON SALE OCTOBER 6, 2008
- WANTED: JUNIOR DUCK STAMP ARTISTS
- 2008 FALL TROUT ALLOCATIONS AND STOCKING
- UPCOMING MEETINGS
- NEWS & NOTES - Forest Management Site Walk, Phillipston; Preliminary Bear Season Numbers; Deer Heads Needed For Ongoing CWD Monitoring; CORRECTION: Paraplegic Deer Hunt Dates; Falcon Chick & Eaglet Banding Results for 2008
LANDOWNER INCENTIVE PROGRAM: UPCOMING 2009 APPLICATION PERIOD AND INFORMATION SESSIONS; 2008 HIGHLIGHTS
The application period for the Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) for FY 10 opens October 27, 2008, with applications due on or before December 19, 2008, at 4:00 PM. Private landowners who want to actively manage their property to benefit wildlife habitat are invited to attend one of several scheduled LIP events listed below to learn more about wildlife habitat management techniques and tools and also about potential funding through this program. Individual landowners, land trusts, sportsmen's clubs, and other conservation organizations are encouraged to attend these FREE events and to consider applying to the program.
In 2008, The Landowner Incentive Program received 51 applications for species-at-risk habitat enhancements and restoration for the upcoming fiscal year (FY 09). Of these applications, 35 were selected to receive funding. MassWildlife is partnering with these private landowners to finance management on a total of 2,640 acres, funding the grants with a total of $806,158. Of the 35 grants awarded, ten went to land trusts, 12 to conservation organizations, one to a sportsmens club, and 12 to other private landowners. Of the projects funded, 71 percent applied for manual restoration, 80 percent applied for invasive/exotic plant removal, 26 percent applied for the seeding or planting in their project area, and none applied for a prescribed burn. Of the properties selected (by county), four are in Barnstable, seven in Berkshire, one in Bristol, one in Dukes, two in Essex, four in Franklin, three in Hampden, six in Hampshire, one in Middlesex, two in Nantucket, one in Plymouth, and three in Worcester County.
- Tuesday, October 7, 5:00 PM
Bushnell-Sage Library, 48 Main St, Sheffield
Hosted by the Nature Conservancy
- Thursday, October 16, 6:00 PM
300 Westgate Center Dr, Hadley
Hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(Please note: a photo ID is required at this facility)
- Monday, October 20, 6:00 PM
Appleton Farms, 219 County Rd, Ipswich
Hosted by the Trustees of Reservations
- Thursday, October 23, 6:00 PM
North River Sanctuary, 2000 Main St, Marshfield
Hosted by Mass Audubon
AUTUMN OUTDOOR SAFETY TIPS
Fall is a wonderful time to be outdoors with its dazzling colors, crisp air, and wildlife activity galore. Whether your passion is hiking, hunting, fishing, birding, or just taking in the scenery, a few commonsense safety reminders will add to your enjoyment during a day in the field.
- Know your limits. Don't take off on a long hike, hunt, or bike ride
if you're not physically ready. Always tell someone where you're going
and when you expect to return.
Watch the weather. New England weather is notorious for quick changes. Be ready with an extra layer of clothing, warm hat and gloves.
- Expect the unexpected. No one expects problems while spending a day outdoors, but having a fanny pack with a few first aid items, matches, water, pocket knife, cell phone, map, compass, whistle, extra food, and flashlight can help prevent small problems from becoming big ones.
- Wear blaze orange for visibility. Whether you're a hunter, hiker, or walking the dog in rural areas, it's a good idea to wear a cap or vest of highly visible blaze orange clothing while youre enjoying the great outdoors.
- Respect the water. Canoeists and kayakers are required to wear life jackets from September 15 to May 15, but all water enthusiasts, especially anglers who wade our larger rivers, would be wise to wear floatation devices now that water temperatures are cool.
- Respect other outdoor users. Mountain biking, horseback riding,
wildlife watching, hunting, and hiking need not be and are not mutually
exclusive activities. Know the seasons and who is likely to be sharing
the woods and waters with you. Keep dogs under direct control and
respect other outdoor users rights to enjoy our open spaces.
Finally, licensed sportsmen and women are reminded to take the basics of hunter safety to heart. Treat every firearm as it were loaded, keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times. Positively identify your target and what lies beyond it.
REMAINING ANTLERLESS DEER PERMITS ON SALE OCTOBER 6, 2008
Deer hunters are reminded that antlerless deer permit sales will begin
October 6, 2008, for surplus permits remaining in Wildlife Management
Zones (WMZs) 10, 11, 13, and 14. There are NO surplus permits available
for any other wildlife management zones this year. Hunters will be allowed
to purchase one permit per zone per day. The cost is $5.00 per permit.
Permits will be sold in MassWildlifes Westborough, Acton, West
Boylston, Pittsfield, and Belchertown offices. Southeast District permit
sales during the first week October 6-10 will be at the
Myles Standish State Forest Interpretive Center, then sales will move
to the MassWildlife Bourne office for the remainder of the season. Hunters
who purchased their hunting/sporting license online may purchase permits
online at www.mass.gov/massoutdoors
OR at any MassWildlife District Office. Once the quota is reached in
a particular WMZ, permit sales for that zone will stop. Hunters must
present their original license to purchase permits; carbon copies or
photocopies of licenses will not be accepted. A person may bring the
original license(s) of another hunter and purchase permits for him/her.
MassWildlife encourages anyone who has not yet done so to return their
permit notification or reapplication card as soon as possible. Re-applicant
postcards will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
WANTED: JUNIOR DUCK STAMP ARTISTS
Registration information is now available to educators and home-schooling parents for the 2009 Junior Duck Stamp (JDS) Program. Artwork submissions are due by March 15, 2009. For official entry information visit www.fws.gov/juniorduck. You may also contact MassWildlife Education Coordinator Pam Landry at 508/389-6310 or Pam.Landry@state.ma.us.
Art and science may seem to be an unlikely combination, but when blended in the context of the JDS Program, art makes science come alive. The program links the study of wetlands and waterfowl conservation with a national waterfowl art project. Students in grades K-12 learn about the habitat requirements of various species of ducks and geese and then depict the birds in original artwork. The art is judged in four age categories in a statewide competition, and the entry judged Best of Show moves on to represent Massachusetts in the national JDS competition. The potential for a future career in wildlife art can be another benefit of program participation: A former JDS top-honors winner, Mathew Schulz of Osterville, was chosen the winning artist in the 2006 Massachusetts Waterfowl Stamp Program.
A great way to learn more about the program is to view the top entries
from the 2008 Massachusetts Junior Duck Stamp Contest. A traveling exhibit
of the youth artwork will be on display in a number of places throughout
October, including the Bowes Gallery at Wachusett Regional High School,
The Massachusetts Audubon Societys Arcadia Sanctuary in Easthampton,
and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport. For a
complete schedule of JDS art exhibitions throughout the school year,
including exact dates and contact information, go to www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/education/jds/jds_schedule.htm.
The Massachusetts Junior Duck Stamp Program is sponsored by MassWildlife,
the Massachusetts Wildlife Federation, the Massachusetts Waterfowler's
Association, Ducks Unlimited-Massachusetts Chapter, and the U. S. Fish
and Wildlife Service.
2008 FALL TROUT ALLOCATIONS AND STOCKING
Autumn anglers will be happy to learn that fall trout stocking is just
getting underway. This fall, 66,000 rainbow and brown trout averaging
12 inches or more in length will be allocated among the five wildlife
management districts across the state. The fish are produced at MassWildlife
hatcheries in Sandwich, Belchertown, and Montague. Water temperatures
permitting, trout stocking will begin no earlier than the last full
week of September and will be completed by mid-October. For a list of
stocked waters, go to www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/recreation/fishing/trout/trout_stocked_waters.htm.
Water bodies stocked in the fall are underlined. Anglers are advised
to contact the District Office in their area to determine when stocking
began: Northeast (Acton): 978/263-4347; Southeast (Bourne): 508/759-3406;
Central (W. Boylston): 508/835-3607; Valley (Belchertown): 413/323-7632;
Western (Pittsfield): 413/447-9789.
The Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Advisory Committee will be meeting on Thursday, October 9, 2008, 1:30 PM- 4:30 PM at MassWildlifes Field Headquarters in Westborough. This meeting is open to the public and is handicapped accessible.
The October meeting of the Fisheries and Wildlife Board will be held
at 11:00 AM on October 31, 2008, in Berkshire County; exact meeting
location will be announced when details are finalized. This meeting
is open to the public and is handicapped accessible.
NEWS AND NOTES
- Forest Management Site Walk, PhillipstonThe final visit of a series of Forest Management Site Walks offered by MassWildlife to the public, agency foresters and biologists will be at the Phillipston Wildlife Management Area (WMA) at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, October 21, 2008. See a white pine tree seed harvest conducted by MassWildlife, as well as an adjacent moose wintering site. The goal of the forest management at Phillipston is to regenerate old-field white pine forest to a structurally diverse stand of mixed hardwood, hemlock, and white pine that provides adequate habitat for area-sensitive wildlife species that prefer larger patches of young forest habitat. Learn more about forest management efforts, rare species concerns, and about moose in Central Massachusetts during this walk. The walk will take place rain or shine: Wear appropriate clothing and sturdy footgear for walking in the woods and fields; bring binoculars and a camera if you wish. Meet at the WMA entrance on the west side of Williamsville Road in Phillipston, MA (about 1.2 miles south of the intersection of Williamsville Road and Route 101: Follow Route 101 southwest from the center of Templeton, MA for about 2.25 miles to Williamsville Road, turn left on Williamsville Road for about 1.2 miles). Foresters are reminded that this public site visit will be approved for one (1) Continuing Forestry Education credit in Category 1.
- Preliminary Bear Season NumbersLicensed black bear hunters took to the woods of western and central Massachusetts during the September season and emerged with 78 bruins; in 2007, 125 bears were taken in the September season. Preliminary figures indicate that check stations in the Western District checked 48 bears, check stations in the Connecticut Valley checked in a total of 30 bears, while the Central District checked no bears. Rifles, muzzleloaders, archery equipment, and certain handguns were permitted during the September season. The second bear season begins November 3 and ends November 22, 2008. MassWildilfe reminds bear hunters that handguns are prohibited during the November season.
- Deer Heads Needed For Ongoing CWD MonitoringAs part of its Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) surveillance program, MassWildlife has been taking samples of brain tissue and lymph nodes from hunter-harvested deer. CWD is a contagious neurological disease fatal to deer, elk, and moose. With the advent of the deer hunting season, MassWildlife would like to remind deer hunters to consider providing a sample for CWD testing. During the bow hunting season, hunters who want to provide a sample may check their deer or bring their deer head to the Western District Office in Pittsfield, the Northeast District Office in Acton, or the Westborough Field Headquarters. Hunters may also inquire of meat cutters if they are participating in collecting deer heads for MassWildlife and refer them to our CWD biologist, Nicki Hamilton-Smith (413/885-5725), if they wish to take part. During the shotgun season, about one third of the deer check stations will be set up to collect deer heads. Another option is to leave a message with Nicki Hamilton-Smith at the above number; she can make arrangements for pick-up. Hunters are reminded to avoid freezing the head because frozen tissue samples will not be acceptable.
- CORRECTION! Deer Hunt Dates for Paraplegic HuntersParaplegic sportsmen and women are advised of a correction to hunt dates mentioned in last months newsletter. The deer hunt dates are October 30 November 1, 2008. These dates are correctly posted in the MassWildlife hunting abstracts and website calendar. Locations will include Devens, Quabbin Park, and two areas in Berkshire County. Paraplegic sportsmen and women with an interest in participating in this hunt should contact Trina Moruzzi at 508/389-6318 for more details.
2008 Falcon Chick & Eaglet Banding ResultsThe
Bay State's resident Peregrine falcons and Bald eagles were the
focus of banding efforts by MassWildlife biologists during the months
of May and June. Dr. Tom French, Assistant Director of MassWildlife's
Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, reported a total
of 25 peregrine falcon chicks at 15 nests. "We are very pleased
to report a record total of 15 nesting pairs of falcons in the Bay
State," said French; "a new nest was discovered in Roxbury
by a birder engaged in collecting information for the Breeding Bird
Atlas." French reported that nine of the falcon pairs successfully
hatched and fledged 24 chicks; 19 of these chicks were banded by
MassWildlife biologists and other partners. Other nest locations
include Boston, hosting four peregrine nesting sites; and Worcester,
Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Saugus, Quincy, Holyoke, Deerfield,
Amherst, and Springfield, each hosting one nest. French reported
that he has received one mortality report of a young female peregrine
falcon that was seen to strike a window on UMass/Amhersts
DuBois Library tower while chasing a pigeon.
MassWildlife biologists and technicians from across the state visited known or suspected eagle nesting territories from Middleborough to Sandisfield to the Merrimack River, as well as the "core" territories on Quabbin Reservoir and the Connecticut River. Of 26 eagle nesting territories, 22 nests produced a total of 33 eaglets, 28 of which were banded. Eagle nesting highlights included the discovery of a new nesting pair in Salisbury, on Carr Island in the Merrimack River. On a disappointing note, MassWildlife confirmed the death of an eaglet from the Lake Onota nest in Pittsfield that was discovered entangled in fishing gear. In addition, the eagle nest at Wachusett Reservoir was blown down during a strong storm, resulting in the death of one of the chicks. The remaining chick was rescued, and after banding and a brief convalescence, it was placed in a nest in the Connecticut River Valley where it was successfully fostered by the occupying chick and adult eagles.