The seven person Fisheries and Wildlife Board was created by the Massachusetts legislature in 1948 and is assigned the responsibility of supervision and control of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. The Board's mandate is to protect and manage the wildlife of the Commonwealth as an essential public natural resource for the use and enjoyment of all citizens who hunt, fish, trap, and enjoy nature study and observation. This includes all mammals, birds, and freshwater fish, plus insects, invertebrates and plants that are listed under state and federal regulations as rare, endangered, threatened, or of special concern - over 400 species in total. All public meetings and hearings are posted on the agency website as well as at agency facilities.
Broad and Professional Representation
Board membership assures broad geographic, and professional representation. State law requires that the Governor appoint one member from each of the five regions of the state. One of these must be experienced in farming. Of the two additional at-large members, one must be a wildlife biologist and the other must have expertise in endangered species conservation.
The Board Assures Professional Responsibility for the Wildlife Resource by:
The Board fosters close working partnerships between the Division and other state and federal agencies, private conservation organizations, sportsmen's organizations, municipal conservation commissions, land trusts and private firms. Partnerships involve all management, regulatory, research, land acquisition, and information and education activities of the Division.
The Board operates under multiple layers of public oversight - the Governor, the Secretary of Environmental Affairs, and the Commissioner of Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Law Enforcement. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regularly reviews federally funded projects.