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- BIO MAP2 RELEASED
- LAND DEDICATION HONORS GENEROUS BEQUEST OF FARRELL FAMILY
- AVOID INVASIVE PLANTS FOR HOLIDAY DECORATING
- PRELIMINARY 2010 SEPTEMBER BEAR SEASON NUMBERS
- URBAN BIRD CONSERVATION GRANT OPPORTUNITY FOR CITIES
- UPCOMING MEETINGS
- CALENDAR OF EVENTS
On October 14, 2010, officials from the Department of Fish and Game (DFG), Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) and The Nature Conservancy released BioMap2, a comprehensive land conservation strategy centered on an updated map of the most critical lands, waters and habitats that need to be protected to conserve the Commonwealth's diversity of plants and wildlife. BioMap2 is designed to guide strategic biodiversity conservation in Massachusetts over the next decade by focusing land protection and stewardship on the areas that are most critical for ensuring the long-term persistence of rare and other native species and their habitats, exemplary natural communities and a diversity of ecosystems in the context of a changing climate.
Bi Map2 is an enhanced update of the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program's 2001 BioMap, and subsequent Living Waters plans which provided conservation planning guidance to agencies, land trusts and other non-profit groups by converting 25 years of Natural Heritage biodiversity data into maps showing habitats for rare species and important natural communities. Since BioMap was published in 2001, nearly 72,000 acres identified in BioMap as Core Habitat have since been protected, as well as over 44,000 acres of supporting natural landscape. Combined, this represents nearly 70 percent of all lands protected in Massachusetts by all conservation entities since 2001.
BioMap2 is designed to guide strategic biodiversity conservation in the state by focusing land conservation on the areas that are most critical for the persistence of rare and other native species and their habitats, exemplary natural communities and a diversity of ecosystems. BioMap2 expands and updates the prior planning resources to reflect:
- improved Geographic Information System spatial data on land development and land use changes;
- over 4,000 new observations and updated data in the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program's database;
- a better understanding of the geographic extent and types of suitable habitat needed to support many rare species; and
- integration of the analyses of terrestrial and aquatic species and their habitats included in both of the NHESP's original BioMap and Living Waters Plans.
The ecological and taxonomic scope of BioMap2 has also been enhanced to: encompass other vulnerable fish and wildlife species and habitats identified in the Massachusetts' State Wildlife Action Plan; use state-of-the-art models of Ecological Integrity to identify upland, wetland, riverine and coastal ecosystem and landscapes across the state; and include more ecologically resistant and resilient ecosystems to better address anticipated effects of climate change.
Copies of the BioMap2 booklet and poster will be mailed by the NHESP to town conservation commissions and will be available for pick up by interested conservationists at Division offices across the state in the near future. To receive a copy of the BioMap2 report, send a check for $2.50 made out to Comm of Mass - NHESP and send it to "BioMap2 Report", MassWildlife - NHESP, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581. BioMap2 will also soon be available on the web with a webviewer with enhanced features providing more detailed information than the original BioMap and Living Waters webviewers.
To produce BioMap2, DFG, DFW and the Natural Heritage & Endangered
Species Program partnered with The
Nature Conservancy for its expertise in landscape-scale planning
and approach on how climate change may affect our forests, rivers, coastlines
and wildlife. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts funded the project largely
from open space bond funds and from the Natural Heritage and Endangered
Species Fund. DFG also received a grant from the Open Space Institute.
The Nature Conservancy received project support from the Ackerman Conservation
Fund, Toward Sustainability Foundation, and Elinor M. and Joel L. Siner.
LAND DEDICATION HONORS GENEROUS BEQUEST OF FARRELL FAMILY
In early October, state officials, conservation organizations, community leaders and close friends of Calvin and Annette Farrell gathered at the Ashfield Rod and Gun Club to honor the couple, formerly of South Easton, for their generous bequest of approximately $375,000, which made possible the acquisition of a 278-acre tract of wildlife habitat in the towns of Ashfield and Hawley. At the land dedication ceremony, the group viewed the unveiling of a plaque honoring the couple to be permanently mounted at the entrance of the new Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
"The Farrell's gift is an extraordinary example of the commitment outdoorsmen have to conservation," said DFW Director Wayne MacCallum. "In the late 1980's, a few forward-looking sportsmen and women happened upon a truly great idea - to create a fund within the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife for the conservation of wildlife lands dedicated to hunting, fishing and other wildlife-related recreation. The Wildlands Fund is supported by private donations and by the sale of so-called Land Stamps, which license holders may buy when they acquire their licenses. Although we imagined generous private donations being made to this Fund, I can honestly say that we never imagined a gift as generous as the bequest received from the estate of Calvin Farrell. We thank and honor the Farrell family for their generous gift and for ensuring future generations enjoy wildlife and related recreation in this area."
The new 278-acre Ashfield-Hawley WMA primarily consists of northern hardwoods with over 3,000 feet of frontage along the West Branch of the Swift River. Not to be confused with the Swift River associated with the Quabbin Reservoir, this Swift River begins in Hawley and flows into the East Branch of the Westfield River in the town of Cummington. This western Swift River is a Coldwater Fisheries Resourc (CFR) stream, annually stocked with salmon fry as part of the Division's salmon restoration effort. The river is also stocked with trout and mapped as Priority Habitat for state-listed reptiles. The combination of forest and wetlands on the property provides excellent habitat for many kinds of other wildlife including bear, moose, turkey, grouse, deer, beaver, and bobcat. The new WMA is situated among other parcels of protected open space. It abuts two tracts protected by Agricultural Protection Restrictions and is located across Plainfield Road from the 5,000-acre Kenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest in Hawley.
"The gift of land or funds to protect critical habitat does more for wildlife conservation than anything else people can do," said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Mary Griffin. "I would like to thank the Farrell family and especially recognize Calvin and Annette Farrell for their foresight and incredible generosity."
To make a donation to the Wildlands Fund, a check made out to: Comm of Mass - DFW Wildlands Fund and send to: DFW Wildlands Fund, MassWildlife Field HQ, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough MA 01581.
For a listing of
wildlife lands acquired by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
through the Wildlands Fund and other funding sources go to the DFW website.
AVOID INVASIVE PLANTS FOR HOLIDAY DECORATING
As part of the upcoming holiday season, many people are using plant
material to decorate their houses or businesses. The Division of Fisheries
and Wildlife (DFW) and the Department
of Agricultural Resources (DAR) highly recommends that people avoid
using certain exotic, invasive plants such as Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus
orbiculatus) and Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) in holiday
decorations. Though these plants are attractive, it is best to refrain
from using them. Birds eat and carry away the fruits from wreaths and
garlands and the digested but still-viable seeds sprout where deposited.
Exotic, invasive plants create severe environmental damage, invading
open fields, forests, wetlands, meadows, and backyards, and crowding
out native plants. Bittersweet can even kill mature trees through strangling.
Both plants are extremely difficult to control: when cut off, the remaining
plant segment in the ground will re-sprout. It is illegal to import
or sell bittersweet and multiflora rose in any form (plants or cuttings)
in the state of Massachusetts.
Backyard gardeners, nursery staff, landscapers and conservationists can learn more about invasive plants from the DFW "A Guide To Invasive Plants". In the Guide, each invasive plant description includes a photograph, the plant's regulatory status, key identification characteristics, habitats where the plant is likely to be found, type of threat the plant poses to native species and habitats, and its current distribution and place of origin. Similar plant species are also briefly described to aid in plant identification. The Guide includes definitions of three categories of invasiveness, brief explanations of how invasive plants are introduced and spread, why invasives are a problem, how to learn more about controlling invasive plants, and the state agricultural regulations regarding their importation, sale and propagation. Useful invasive plant websites are also referenced.
To purchase a guide from DFW, stop in the Westborough office during business hours or send a request to "Invasive Plant Guide," MassWildlife Field HQ, NHESP, 1 Rabbit Hill Rd, Westborough, MA, 01581, and include a check for $5 (per copy) payable to: Comm. of Mass.--NHESP. Sorry, but credit cards are not accepted.
For more information visit
PRELIMINARY 2010 SEPTEMBER BEAR SEASON NUMBERS
Licensed black bear hunters took to the woods of western and central
Massachusetts during the September season and emerged with 114 bruins.
In Berkshire County, 46 bears were taken; 35 in Franklin County; 12
in Hampden County; and 21 in Hampshire County. Rifles, muzzleloaders,
archery equipment, and revolvers were permitted during the September
season. The second bear season begins November 1 and ends November 20,
2010. Bear hunters are reminded that revolvers are prohibited during
the November season.
URBAN BIRD CONSERVATION GRANT OPPORTUNITY FOR CITIES
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the availability of new challenge funding grants for cities under the Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds (Urban Bird Treaty). The Urban Bird Treaty program was created to help municipal governments conserve birds that live and nest in, overwinter or migrate through their cities. Cities can become effective sanctuaries for birds and other wildlife, with an environmentally aware citizenry dedicated to conserving and enhancing natural resources. This is not only good for the birds, but also for the quality of life of people living in and visiting cities.
Based on a competitive grant proposal process, chosen cities are awarded Service "challenge" grants. The Urban Bird Treaty city is "challenged" to raise an amount equal to or greater than the amount of funds awarded by the Service. The matching support raised by the Urban Bird Treaty city must be of non-federal origin. Matches may consist of cash, "in-kind" contributions of goods and services from the Urban Bird Treaty city and its partners, or a combination of cash or in-kind donations from other institutions or businesses.
The Urban Bird Treaty program offers a great deal of flexibility to incorporate the best combination of projects that are appropriate for the city and that will also have the greatest benefits to birds. Currently, nine cities in the country have signed Urban Bird Treaties with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. New Orleans was the first in 1991 with Chicago, Philadelphia, Portland (OR), New York City, Houston, St. Louis, Nashville, Anchorage following suit.
For more information visit: www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/Partnerships/UrbanTreaty/urbantreaty.html or contact: Alicia Frances King, Division of Migratory Bird Management at Alicia_f_king@fws.gov, or call (703) 358-2522.
UPCOMING PUBLIC MEETINGS
November 9 -- Fisheries and Wildlife Board Meeting, Ayer -- The Fisheries and Wildlife Board will hold its November meeting on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. at the DFW Northeast District Office, 85 Fitchburg Road, Ayer. This meeting is open to the public and is handicapped accessible. Directions to the Northeast District Office or call the office at (978)772-2145.
November 11 -- Natural Heritage Advisory Committee Meeting, Westborough
--Due to the state holiday, this meeting will
not take place. The next meeting
is scheduled for December 9, 2010, 1:30 - 4:30 pm at the Division's
Field Headquarters in Westborough.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
November -- Quack, quack! Junior Duck Stamp Traveling Art Exhibits
in Holden and Montague--Interested in making a connection with nature
by submitting artwork to the 2011 Massachusetts Juni or Duck Stamp Contest?
Take inspiration from traveling exhibits featuring top youth entries
from the 2010 Massachusetts Junior Duck Stamp (JDS) Contest. The Junior
Duck Stamp Program was launched in 1991 by the US Fish & Wildlife
Service with the aim of increasing young people's awareness of the importance
of preserving wetland habitats and the delights of wildlife. In 1992,
the US Fish and Wildlife Service printed the first ever Junior Duck
Stamp with the funds going towards scholarships and educational grants.
More information about the JDS contest can be found at: www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/education/jds/jds_home.htm.
- November 2 - Dec 21-Travelling JDS Exhibit at Wachusett Regional High School's Bowes Gallery in Holden. For directions and more information, contact Suzanne Breen at (508) 829-6771.
- November 6 - December 18 -Travelling JDS Exhibit at Great Falls
Discovery Center, Turner's Falls (Montague) For further information,
call Sarah Bevilaqua at (413) 863-3676.
November 10 -- Project WILD Workshop for Educators, Hawley -- The Department of Conservation and Recreation invites educators to an exciting six-hour interdisciplinary hands-on/minds-on workshop focusing on terrestrial wildlife and ecosystems at Dubuque State Forest. Participants will receive the nationally award winning activity guide along with hours that may be used toward obtaining PDP's. Participants will actively engage in activities, evaluate materials for unique needs & settings, share experiences with other educators, take home ideas & resources to integrate into their teaching, and make correlations to national & state content standards. Formal & non-formal educators find the materials & workshop experience very valuable. Pre-registration is required by calling Alec Gillman at (413) 499-4262.
November 17 -- Black Bears in Massachusetts, Groton -- Laura Hajduk, Furbearer and Black Bear Project Leader for the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife will present a family-friendly program about black bears in the region. This program, offered by the Nashua River Watershed Association at 592 Main Street (Rte. 119) in Groton, is free and open to the public. Seating is limited; pre-registration for this presentation is encouraged. Seating will be held for pre-registrants until 5:55 p.m., at which time walk-in guests will be seated. To pre-register or for more information, call Al Futterman, NRWA Land Programs and Outreach Director at (978) 448-0299, or email AlF@NashuaRiverWatershed.org.
November 17 -- Wildlife Habitat Management Talk, Worcester --
Tom O'Shea, Assistant Director for Wildlife, will be presenting a talk
focusing on DFW's habitat
management plans for state wildlife management areas at the Worcester
County Conservation District's Annual Meeting at 8PM to be held
at the Webster First Federal Credit Union, 271 Greenwood Street in Worcester.
Please respond for dinner only requests by November 8th to Lisa (508)
829-0168, ext. 193 or email Lisa.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dinner Guests: $25.00 (Begins 6 PM and includes the presentation). Presentation
Only (8PM): $5.00 at the door. Checks should be made payable to: WCCD,
and sent to WCCD, 52 Boyden Rd., Holden, MA, 01520
For a complete listing of wildlife-related events,
see the Events Calendar.
Last Updated: 11/04/2010