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- 6,000 ACRES OF FISH AND WILDLIFE HABITAT PROTECTED
- FINAL HABITAT MANAGEMENT PUBLIC MEETING, SEPTEMBER 13, 2010
- MIGRATORY GAME BIRD SEASONS SET
- CORRECTION! YOUTH WATERFOWL HUNT AGE INFORMATION
- FALL FISHING EVENTS
- 2010 ANTLERLESS DEER AND BEAR PERMIT UPDATES
- GET THE FAMILY OUTDOORS AT THE MASS OUTDOOR EXPO!
- UPCOMING PUBLIC MEETINGS
- CALENDAR OF EVENTS
6,000 ACRES OF FISH AND WILDLIFE HABITAT PROTECTED
Just over 6,000 acres of fish and wildlife habitat were protected by the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife in the past fiscal year (July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010) for a total investment of $10,490,000. These acquisitions were well distributed around the Commonwealth, with 57 parcels in 44 towns conserved both for the benefit of wildlife and the public's use and enjoyment. These new fish and wildlife lands will be added to the list of over 180,000 acres currently under the care and control of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW). All lands are open to fishing, hunting, trapping, wildlife observation, boating, hiking and other passive wildlife related recreation. A listing of all newly acquired FY 2010 properties by town can be found on the DFW website.
"Donations of land and easements were a major part of this year's habitat protection efforts," said Craig MacDonnell, the Division's Realty Chief. "With the assistance of the environmental community and many generous donors, over 3,481 acres of habitat were protected at no cost to the state. These donations amount to over one-half of the acres conserved this year and demonstrates exceptional initiative during lean economic times."
The Western District completed nine acquisitions and protected a total of 1,067 acres. A new 319-acre Mt. Darby Wildlife Conservation Easement in Mt. Washington was the largest project in the District. This project will greatly enhance access for sportsmen and other wildlife-related recreation users.
Eight projects were completed in the Connecticut Valley District protecting a total of 139.33 acres. Four of the projects were along important rivers, enhancing water quality and fishing access. The most significant of these river related acquisitions was a 12-acre addition to a parcel already owned by the Division on the Connecticut River in West Springfield which adds over 1,000 feet of shoreline protection and includes an eagle nesting area.
The Central District completed 16 acquisitions in eleven municipalities for a total of 943.68 acres. One of the highlights for the Central District land program was the closure of four projects of long-term interest protecting 160 acres and 1.7 miles of Nashua River frontage at Bolton Flats WMA. These projects include scenic floodplain fields near the confluence of the North and South branches of the Nashua River and more than 100 contiguous acres of floodplain forest along the north bank.
In the Northeast District, 18 projects conserving 675 acres were completed. One notable project featured a 103-acre parcel addition to the Martin Burns WMA in Newbury expanding the total WMA acreage to 1,657-acres. Agency staff worked with the landowning family for over 20 years to purchase the land. This exemplary acquisition expands upon the contiguous wildlife habitat complex, providing rolling oak-pine forest dotted with a suite of vernal pool and wetland habitat types for rare and state-listed reptiles and amphibians.
In the Southeast District, six land conservation projects involving
a total of 3,337.49 acres in nine towns were completed. The most expensive
project in the state was the long-sought 249-acre Century Bog acquisition
in Wareham and Plymouth, acquired at a cost of $3,000,000 from A.D.
Makepeace. This project arose from a series of negotiations conducted
over several years between and among agency staff, company officials,
and non-profit representatives and is a major accomplishment of the
land acquisition program. This ownership will be added to the 421-acre
Red Brook WMA, which, together with the investments of a regional conservation
partner, The Trustees of Reservations, results in the protection of
the entirety of that brook's adjacent land from the headwaters to the
ocean, and will provide significant restoration opportunities for the
Through the land acquisition program, DFG and the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife seek to protect wildlife diversity by acquiring the most important fish and wildlife habitat and natural communities and to provide public access to the lands and waters of the Commonwealth. The Division's holdings stretch from the Berkshires to the Cape and Islands. Maps for many WMAs are posted on the DFW website. Boating and fishing access ramp information may be found at: www.mass.gov/dfwele/pab/index.htm.
Support for the land acquisition program comes from several sources. The primary funding mechanism is the Commonwealth's open space bond authorization. In FY10, the department received more than $10.2 million in capital funds for land acquisition. Fishing, hunting and trapping license buyers contribute a $5 fee to the Wildlands Fund for wildlife habitat acquisition as an additional revenue source. Some individuals and organizations make direct donations to the Wildlands Fund. A significant amount of additional funding is also leveraged or received through non-profit conservation organizations. In addition, many acres are conserved every year through gifts of land.
FINAL HABITAT MANAGEMENT PUBLIC MEETING, SEPTEMBER 13, 2010
The Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife Board continues to seek public
input and comment on the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife's habitat
management activities on wildlife management areas. Wildlife enthusiasts,
naturalists, hunters, anglers, birders, wildlife management area users
and other conservation-minded citizens are invited to the final public
informational meeting on this topic scheduled for September 13, 2010,
at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Karl Weiss Education
and Conference Center, 100 North Drive, Room 102, Westborough at 7 PM.
This facility is handicapped accessible. The meeting will include a
presentation about the Division's wildlife habitat management goals,
habitat management practices and wildlife outcomes on its wildlife lands
and will include a question and answer period with Division staff. "The
Division's mission is to conserve the Commonwealth's wildlife diversity
in perpetuity for the benefit and enjoyment of its citizens," notes
Tom O'Shea, DFW Assistant Director of Wildlife. "The agency is
obligated to restore and sustain healthy wildlife populations of all
kinds. This public meeting will provide information on the scientific
background and biological results for grassland, shrubland, and forest
management activities carried out on DFW lands to provide critical habitat
for declining populations of wildlife." Two other public informational
meetings on habitat management were held in Lenox and Ludlow in July
MIGRATORY GAME BIRD SEASONS SET
On Thursday, August 26, 2010, the Fisheries and Wildlife Board held a public hearing in Belchertown and then voted on regulations establishing the 2010-2011 migratory game bird seasons, bag limits, and methods of take. Migratory game bird regulations and a map outlining waterfowl hunting zones are posted online. Hard copies of the Migratory Game Bird regulations will be available by mid-September. Hunters planning to hunt ducks, geese, woodcock, and other migratory game birds are reminded that they must obtain a free Harvest Information Program (HIP) number by calling 1-800-WETLAND (938-5263). In order to be eligible for the free HIP number, hunters must possess a 2010 hunting license and complete a voice survey of any past migratory bird hunting activities. Online license buyers can complete the HIP survey on the MassOutdoors website. Anyone finding a banded bird should report the band information to the federal government at www.reportband.gov or call 1-800-327-BAND.
CORRECTION! YOUTH WATERFOWL HUNT AGE INFORMATION
Young waterfowl hunters and their adult hunting mentors are advised
of a correction to the youth waterfowl hunt ages listed in the 2011
Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Guide. Young waterfowl hunters ages 12-15
years of age are eligible to participate in the Youth Waterfowl Hunt
FALL FISHING EVENTS
Though many people think of spring and summer as prime fishing season, autumn is a terrific time to take someone fishing. If you are new to this activity or want to introduce fishing to a beginning angler, consider attending one of the fall fishing opportunities held by DFW's Angler Education Program. If you have fishing equipment, bring it along! Fishing licenses are not required by program participants.
September 11-Harold Parker State Forest Family Fishing Festival, Andover. This annual event will be held at Sudden Pond in the Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, 9:00 - 1:00pm. For more information, contact Jim Lagacy at firstname.lastname@example.org
September 25 - Second Annual Veterans and Military Families Appreciation Day in the Park, Milton - Sponsored by the DCR Blue Hills Reservation at Houghton's Pond in Milton, from 11:00am to 3:00pm, the Angler Education Program will be one of many outdoor skills and activities available to veterans and military families. Pre-registration is required. Contact the Department of Veterans' Services at (617) 210-5761 or email Cisaksen@massmail.state.ma.us.
September 26 - 14th Annual Massachusetts Outdoor Expo for Families, Sturbridge Held at the Hamilton Rod & Gun Club from 9:00am - 4:00pm, you can try your luck at fishing in the stocked pond as well as seeing native reptiles and birds of prey, try kayaking, rock climbing, shooting firearms or bows and arrows, and a host of other skills. For more information about this free event, contact Gary Zima at email@example.com.
October 2 - Grandparents and Kids Family Fishing Day, Granby This grandparent/grandchild-friendly event is being held in cooperation with the Granby Senior Center at Dufresne Pond from 9:00 - 1:00pm. Pre-registration is required. Contact Gloria Viviar at (413) 467-3239.
October 6 - Ladies Night Out Fishing Clinic, Billerica. Adult
women who would like to learn more about fishing are welcome to sign
up for this fishing clinic with the Billerica Parks and Recreation Department.
The clinic will take place at Nuttings Lake from 5:00 - 7:00pm. Pre-registration
is required. Contact Donna at (978) 671-0921.
2010 ANTLERLESS DEER AND BEAR PERMIT UPDATES
Antlerless deer permit notification cards were mailed to deer hunters in mid-August. All applicants selected for their Wildlife Management Zone (WMZ) of choice were notified of their permit with a white postcard. To ensure receipt of the permit by archery season, the postcard and $5 fee made out to "Comm. of Mass- Deer" must be returned by September 3, 2010 to: "Deer Permit" MassWildlife FHQ, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581.
Applicants not selected for their WMZ of choice were sent green postcards in mid-August to allow them to re-apply in WMZs where permit allocations exceeded applications. Re-applicants may circle and rank up to three choices for Wildlife Management Zones. Due to a limited number of permits available in certain WMZs, re-applicants should send in their postcards as soon as possible since re-applicant requests are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. WMZ 9 permits are no longer available due to the re-application process. Re-applicants may choose from WMZ's 10, 11, 13, and 14 only.
The final opportunity for obtaining an antlerless deer permit, or acquiring additional permits, will occur October 12, 2010, when remaining permits will be available for over-the-counter sales. The only zones for which permits will be available for purchase will be WMZ 10, 11, 13 and 14. Details will be posted in the Antlerless Permit Update area of the agency website.
Bear hunters who applied for a permit should have received their permits
in the mail. Bear hunters who have not yet received their permit should
leave a message with DFW Permit Specialist Lori Cookman at (508) 389-6339.
Bear permit applications, located on the duplicate copy of the paper
hunting and sporting licenses, may still be mailed in with the $5 fee
Make checks out to: "Comm. of Mass-Bear". Only online license
holders may purchase a bear permit on line. Bear permits are also available
at the MassWildlife Westborough Field Headquarters and the District
Offices located in Pittsfield, Belchertown, W. Boylston and Acton. Hunters
must bring their hunting license and the $5.00 fee to obtain an over-the-counter
bear permit. MassWildlife's Southeast District Office in Bourne will
not be issuing bear permits. The 2010 September bear season opens September
7 and ends on September 25. The November season begins on November 1
and ends on November 20, 2010.
GET THE FAMILY OUTDOORS AT THE MASS OUTDOOR EXPO!
Families, friends, Scouts (Boys and Girls), and other youth groups
are invited to a free day of trying outdoor skills and demonstrations
on September 26, 2010, at the 14th annual Massachusetts
Outdoor Expo (The Big MOE), held at the Hamilton
Rod and Gun Club grounds in Sturbridge, 9:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. The
Big MOE, sponsored by the Facts About Wildlife and Nature Society (FAWNS),
is a free, family-oriented event celebrating outdoor skills, nature,
art, and wildlife. This all-day family event is free, thanks to co-sponsors
like the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, Hamilton
Rod and Gun Club, The Weatherby Foundation, Whitetails Unlimited and
the Worcester County League of Sportsmen's Clubs. Sportsmen's clubs;
locally-based, outdoor-related businesses; and other conservation groups
sponsor a variety of skills stations, craft tables, and other exhibits
relating to wildlife and the outdoors. The Big MOE is the perfect opportunity
to introduce young and old to outdoor skills and activities such as
fishing, kayaking, shooting, building a bird box, geocaching, mountain
biking, tree identification, nature arts and crafts, New England Pioneer
encampment, tomahawk throwing, and more! See live birds of prey, native
reptiles, and tree stand safety demonstrations. More information and
a Big MOE flyer to share with others can be found at www.fawnsociety.com.
UPCOMING PUBLIC MEETINGS
The Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Advisory Committee will be meeting on Thursday, September 9, 2010 at the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Rd (off North Drive), Westborough, from 1:30- 4:30 pm.
The Fisheries and Wildlife
Board will hold its September meeting on September 13, 2010 at 1:30
pm at the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit
Hill Rd (off North Drive), Westborough. Following this meeting, the
Board will host a public Habitat Management Informational Meeting at
the Karl Weiss Center at 7 PM, 200 yards from the Field Headquarters.
Both facilities are handicapped accessible.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
September 3-6 - MassWildlife at the Spencer Fair, Spencer. The Division has been invited to participate at the Spencer Fair held on Labor Day weekend. Information about common wildlife and wildlife related recreation opportunities will be featured. Weblink to Spencer Fair is: http://www.spencerfair.org/
September 9-12 - MassWildlife at the Franklin County Fair, Greenfield. See the permanent exhibit about wildlife and learn about outdoor recreation opportunities. The County Fair website is: http://www.fcas.com/
September 12-15--Northeastern Transportation and Wildlife Conference,
Amherst -There is still time to register for the 4th Biennial Northeastern
Transportation and Wildlife Conference to be held at the University
of Massachusetts in Amherst. The conference theme is "Sustainability
in an Uncertain Landscape." Conference registration and agenda
is at: https://regstg.com/Registration/Introduction.aspx?rid=bb8b7855-ee7f-455a-9b9c-3922958924fd.
For a complete listing of wildlife-related events,
see the Events Calendar.
Last Updated: 10/14/2010