Public Notices

On October 24, 2014, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) promulgated final Parks and Recreation Rules and Regulations (302 CMR 12.00). These regulations are the culmination of several years of review and development by the agency since the DCR was formed in 2003 by the merger of the former Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) and the former Department of Environmental Management (DEM). In promulgating these regulations, DCR has achieved the consolidation of park-related regulations that were originally promulgated by DCR’s predecessor agencies. Additionally, this new set of regulations allows DCR to realize a number of important benefits, including:

  • consistent and uniform management and enforcement of rules across all MassParks properties;
  • elimination of conflicting and inconsistent provisions in the former DEM and MDC regulations;
  • improved clarity and guidance for the public and staff in the use, enjoyment, and management of our parks;
  • enhanced resource protection and public safety at our facilities; and
  • elimination of gaps in our old regulations, including better alignment with federal and state environmental regulations.

In general, most of the provisions in 302 CMR 12.00 preserve many of the Department’s existing rules and regulations. In some cases, however, given the need to address new challenges and consolidate often conflicting MDC and DEM regulations, new provisions have been created and old provisions have been changed or updated. We encourage all park visitors and stakeholders to take some time to review these regulations and understand how they might apply to the different activities you participate in while enjoying, appreciating, and recreating in our tremendous resources.

The Office of General Counsel (OGC) is the lead DCR office for maintaining the department’s regulations found in the Commonwealth’s Code of Massachusetts Regulations.  Among other things, the regulations govern the use of DCR lands and facilities, provide the framework for DCR regulatory programs, and address violations of DCR rules.  OGC coordinates the proposal and promulgation of any new, amended or revised DCR regulations, as well as the repeal of any DCR regulation.  Promulgation of regulations by DCR, including public hearings or meetings and public participation, is always in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 30A of the General Laws.

On this page, DCR facilitates access to its regulations, which have the force of law, however, please note that the regulations provided via this web page are not official versions.  If for any reason you require the official version of the regulation, it is only available through Secretary of the Commonwealth via the State Bookstore. Although we strive to keep all information as current and accurate as possible, when downloading regulations from the DCR web site, the copy you receive may be different from the official version for a number of reasons, including but not limited to (1) the download may have gone wrong and you may have lost information; (2) the document may not print well given your specific software/hardware setup; (3) if you translate our documents to another word processing program, it may miss/skip/lose information; and, (4) the file on this web site may be out-of-date (as hard as we try to keep everything current, please note our disclaimer.