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- PUBLIC LANDS MANAGEMENT TOURS OFFERED
- 2009 DEER HARVEST FINAL NUMBERS AND 2010 PERMIT REMINDER
- BIOLOGICAL DATA ON WILDLIFE LANDS POSTED ON LINE
- NEW HUNTERS! SIGN UP NOW FOR COURSES
- QUABBIN DEER HUNT APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE
- MILE-A-MINUTE ALERT
- DIVISION PROGRAM HONORED BY ENVIRONMENTAL BUSINESS COUNCIL
- SELECTED JULY EVENTS & MEETINGS
PUBLIC LANDS MANAGEMENT TOURS OFFERED
During the month of July, the public is invited to join professional
foresters and wildlife biologists from the Department of Conservation
and Recreation (DCR) and the Department of Fish and Game's Division
of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) on three informative evening tours on
state lands located in central Massachusetts to explain and discuss
state forestry and wildlife habitat management practices. These public
lands have been managed for the purposes of watershed management, forest
or wildlife habitat diversity. All tours will meet (rain or shine) at
6:30 PM and last until 8:00 PM. Please wear sturdy footwear and bring
insect repellant. Directions to meeting places and descriptions of sites
are listed below. A fourth tour offered at a sawmill and forest products
company on July 28 at 6:00 PM in Orange will offered by the company
and focus on the use of locally harvested trees for lumber and the manufacture
of other forest products. Dates and locations of the tours are as follows:
July 7- DCR Federated Women's Club State Forest, Petersham - This tour will take participants to two sites, a shelterwood system designed to regenerate a variety of tree and shrub species and a forest type conversion/clearcut intended to create and maintain an early successional (young) forest habitat. Meet in the center of Petersham at the Memorial Library, 23 Common Street just off Route 32 to carpool to the sites.
July 14 - DCR Quabbin Reservoir, Hardwick - Two site visits on this tour will demonstrate harvest results from forest thinning operations, enlarging forest openings, and show how forest regeneration achieves watershed management goals for species diversity and forest age structure. Meet in the center of Hardwick in front of the Hardwick Post Office at the intersection of Barre Road and Petersham Road (Route 32A) to carpool to the sites.
July 21 - DFW Phillipston Wildlife Management Area, Phillipston - This site features a 30-acre old-field white pine harvest using a seed-tree cut to regenerate a more diverse stand of mixed species, including red oak, white pine, black cherry, and hemlock. The young forest habitat created benefits several declining bird species such as Brown thrasher, Blue-winged warbler, and White-throated sparrow, all of which depend on this type of habitat. Meet at the Templeton General Store located at the intersection of Routes 101, 2A, and Baldwinville Road. Carpooling to the tour location is encouraged.
July 28 - Heyes Forest Products Sawmill, Orange - This unique sawmill
and forest products manufacturing tour is being offered by Heyes Forest
Products (HFP), a company that has harvested trees and manufactured
lumber products from the forests of the North Quabbin region for the
past 40 years. Meet at 6:00 PM at Heyes Forest Products, 34 Daniel Shays
Highway (Route 202) in Orange.
2009 DEER HARVEST FINAL NUMBERS AND 2010 ANTLERLESS DEER PERMIT REMINDER
Deer Project Leader Sonja Christensen reports a total of 10,581 white-tailed
deer harvested by licensed hunters during the combined 2009 seasons.
By season, the total breaks down to 4 deer taken during the special
deer season for paraplegic sportsmen; 3,492 taken in the archery season;
4,927 taken during the shotgun season; 1,958 taken during the muzzleloading
season; and 200 deer harvested during the Quabbin Reservation hunt.
deer harvest information.
Christensen noted that 2009 was the second highest harvest for the archery season on record, falling slightly below the 2008 season. "Archery is an important management tool in suburban areas where deer densities are higher due to limited hunting access." However, she points out that there was a decrease from 2008 during the shotgun season. Many hunters noticed a large acorn crop in 2009, which often results in less deer movement as deer do not need move long distances for food resources. Also, as deer populations in Wildlife Management Zones have begun to reduce or stabilize toward deer management goals, fewer antlerless deer permits are issued and ultimately fewer deer are harvested. Reducing antlerless deer permits puts less hunting pressure on female deer, allowing more fawns to be born the following spring. Deer populations are managed with deer density goals established to maintain healthy deer populations in balance with their environment (below biological carrying capacity), at levels that allow sustainable deer harvest and deer viewing opportunities for hunters and wildlife watchers, and at levels that minimize impacts on public health and safety (below cultural carrying capacity).
"Quality deer are found throughout the Commonwealth," says Christensen. "We consistently see a balanced age structure among the deer checked in at our biological check stations, which means that young deer are surviving to older age classes."
For 2010, Christensen reminds deer hunters that an antlerless deer
permit is required to take antlerless deer in any deer season. Hunters
should apply for an antlerless deer permit, as there will be few permits
available for over-the-counter sales in selected Wildlife Management
Zones. Permit applications are attached to traditional hunting and sporting
licenses and must be submitted prior to July 16, 2010. Hunters who have
purchased their license online must apply for an antlerless permit on
WILDLIFE LANDS BIOLOGICAL DATABASE POSTED ONLINE
The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) has recently posted a searchable biological monitoring database on its website that provides survey information on plants, animals (primarily songbirds), vernal pools, natural communities, and other natural resources found on some of the agency's wildlife management areas (WMAs). Some of the collected information includes plant surveys conducted before and after habitat management activities. The database may be of interest to anyone who has visited particular WMAs and wants to know more about the natural resources on those lands; anyone who plans to visit WMAs and wants to know more about the plants and animals they can expect to see; or anyone who is curious about the types of natural resource data the Division collects on its lands. "This database helps people not only learn about the diversity of plants, animals, and habitats on our wildlife management areas," said Tom O'Shea, Assistant Director of Wildlife. "It also provides wildlife professionals with essential baseline information needed for developing habitat management plans on Division lands."
The DFW Biomonitoring Database is hosted on the Mass.gov
Open Data Initiative Wiki Space, a web tool utilized by state agencies
to help make public data available and accessible to the citizens of
the Commonwealth. Biomonitoring
NEW HUNTERS! SIGN UP NOW FOR COURSES
New hunters of all ages are reminded that it is never too early to sign up for a Basic Hunter Education course. First time license buyers in Massachusetts are required to show proof that they have taken a Basic Hunter Education course in order to purchase a hunting or sporting license. Basic courses are available across the state and some will be scheduled to start in August and September.
"Many people fail to consider enrolling in a course until the weather turns cool in late September," says Susan Langlois, Hunter Education Administrator. "Unfortunately, most courses have either begun or are full by then and the opportunity to hunt during the fall may disappear." Langlois points out that courses are scheduled through much of the calendar year, including the summer, but most are offered in the spring and early fall. Basic hunter education courses average 15 hours in length, are taught by volunteer instructors, and are offered in different formats to help meet the public's needs. Students must attend all scheduled sessions as part of the requirement for passing the course. Courses are provided at no charge to participants.
Topics covered during the course include safe handling and storage of hunting arms and ammunition, hunting laws and ethics, wildlife identification, wildlife management, care and handling of game, basic survival skills and first aid. Students who successfully pass the course receive a Certificate of Completion that is accepted for purchasing a Massachusetts hunting or sporting license and for people 15 or older making application for a Firearms Identification Card with their local police departments. The certificates are also accepted in North America for the purchase of a hunting license. Course schedules are posted online. Past graduates who have lost their Certificates may obtain a Duplicate Certificate from the Hunter Education Program either online, or by calling (978) 772-0693.
QUABBIN DEER HUNT APPLICATIONS NOW AVAILABLE
Applications for the 2010 Quabbin Controlled Deer Hunt are available on the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) web page. DCR Water Supply Division staff reminds prospective applicants that regardless of the type of firearm used, all applicants must have a valid FID card to be eligible to apply for this hunting opportunity. To qualify for the permit selection process, all applications must be postmarked by August 16 or hand-delivered to the Quabbin Visitor's Center by 4:00 PM on that date.
Hunters may obtain hard copy applications at DCR administrative and field offices at the Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs and the Boston office at 251 Causeway Street. Applications will be available from DFW offices in Boston, Westborough, and the District Offices. Obtain applications through the mail by sending a self-addressed, stamped, business-sized envelope to: Deer Hunt, Quabbin Visitor Center, 485 Ware Road, Belchertown, MA, 01007. The Quabbin Controlled Deer Hunt will occur during the statewide deer shotgun season in four areas of the Quabbin Reservation: New Salem and Prescott on December 2 and 3, 2010; and Hardwick and Petersham on December 9 and 10, 2010. Approximately 1,100 permits will be drawn based on hunters' license numbers on September 8, 2010. Successful applicants will receive written notification from the DCR by early October.
Mile-A-Minute vine (Persicara perfoliata) also known as Devil's Tear-thumb,
is an invasive weed that has recently appeared in several new locations
in Massachusetts. Native to Asia, this species was accidentally imported
and became established in Pennsylvania by the 1930's. Closer to home,
it appeared in New England in the past decade in southwestern Connecticut
and on Block Island. Here in Massachusetts recent reports of Mile-A-Minute
vine populations have been confirmed by Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
State Botanist, Bryan Connolly and other state agencies such as the
Department of Agricultural Resources, Department of Transportation and
the Department of Conservation and Recreation. These agencies are working
together to locate and eradicate known Mile-A-Minute plants as well
as other invasive plants. Originally, Falmouth and Milton were the only
towns with known Mile-A-Minute infestations, but in 2009, additional
populations were located in Erving, Greenfield, Littleton, Boston, Bridgewater
and Middleborough. All confirmed infestations are currently subject
to ongoing control efforts.
Mile-A-Minute is a rapidly spreading, spiny annual vine growing at rates of six inches per day, smothering native vegetation on its way to attaining a final length of 20 feet. It tolerates various soil types, produces abundant bird-dispersed blue fruits with seeds that can grow after being buried for up to seven years.
"Mile-A-Minute vine is an easily identifiable plant," says Connolly. He noted that the most obvious features are the almost perfectly triangular leaves and a circular leaf-like bract that surrounds the stem at the base of every leaf. The vine is slender and covered in small, curved spines. It also produces very distinct metallic-blue fruits. Images, information, and a recent guide to similar species to aid in identification of this highly invasive plant can be found at a website created by the collaborative efforts between the Department of Agricultural Resources and UMass Extension.
Finding the locations of new populations Mile-A-Minute infestations is the first step to controlling its spread. If you believe you have seen Mile-A-Minute, make detailed notes on the location, take close- up photos and provide a map to the plant's location. Report findings online at or to Bryan Connolly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send hard copy notes and photos by postal service to: Mile-A-Minute Report, MassWildlife Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA, 01581.
DIVISION PROGRAM HONORED BY ENVIRONMENTAL BUSINESS COUNCIL
Recently, the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife's Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) was one of several state environmental agencies honored by the Environmental Business Council (EBC) of New England. The Division's NHESP, along with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Department of Environmental Protection were awarded the EBC Nicholas Humber Environmental-Energy Award for Outstanding Collaboration at the EBC Annual Meeting. Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Mary Griffin accepted the award on behalf of the NHESP and presented it to NHESP staff during the June meeting of the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Advisory Committee in Westborough. The award was in recognition of outstanding collaboration during the successful design and construction of a covered water storage facility at the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton
SELECTED JULY EVENTS & MEETINGS
July 10 - Free Fly Fishing Clinics, Foxborough -- Learn about fly fishing and try out your skills with author and Angler Education Program Instructor Dr. Robert Sousa at Bass Pro Shops. There will be two free clinics at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM respectively. Topics covered will include fly casting, fly tying, and fly fishing. Contact Bass Pro Shops at (508) 216-2000.
July 25 - Cape Cod Freshwater Wetlands Talk, Sandwich --The Thornton Burgess Society (TBS) invites the public to join Dr. Patricia Swain, natural community ecologist for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife's Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, on July 25 from 7-9 PM at the Green Briar Nature Center, 6 Discovery Hill Road, East Sandwich. Topics in her presentation will include natural communities, identifying wetlands, wetland conservation and unique Cape wetlands. Registration (and fee) is required. Adults and children are welcome. To register, call TBS at (508) 888-6870 or visit their website.
July 26 - Board Meeting and Public Hearing, Westborough --The Fisheries and Wildlife Board will meet on Monday, July 26, 2010 at the Division's Westborough Field Headquarters at 1 PM. A Public Hearing will be held on the same date, July 26, 2010, at 4 PM at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Karl Weiss Education and Conference Center, 100 North Drive, Room 102, Westborough, regarding proposed revisions to the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA) regulations at 321 CMR 10.00 administered by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Both meeting and hearing locations are handicapped accessible and open to the public. More information about the hearing is posted on line.
The Natural Heritage
and Endangered Species Advisory Committee will not be meeting in
July or August.
For information on other wildlife events and activities visit the
Calender of Events.
Last Updated: 07/01/2010