The comment period is now closed.

In accordance with the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act, M.G.L. c. 131A , (MESA) and its implementing regulations (321 CMR 10.00), the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife provided a sixty (60) day comment period (April 3 - June 3, 2017) for the public to review and submit comments on the proposed updated version of the Priority Habitat map. 

Specifically, the Division requested public comment on the status of areas proposed for delineation or removal as Priority Habitat regarding the physical or biological features of the habitat, or the current scope of existing development in the area.

Updated Priority Habitats reflect:

These revisions also allow for the removal of existing development and poor quality sites, and the utilization of improved mapping tools such as more recent aerial photography and revised Geographic Information System (GIS) layers.

For more information, see: How and Why the MESA Priority Habitat Map Changes  pdf format of Why the Maps Change
and Regulatory Maps: Priority & Estimated Habitats

Next Steps

  • Within 30 days* after the close of the public comment period, we will evaluate the public comments and determine whether any modifications to the proposed map are appropriate.
  • Within 30 days of the determination of whether any modifications are appropriate, we will
    • post the final updated Priority Habitat map on our website, along with
      • a summary response to public comments, and
      • a summary explanation of any significant modifications to the map
  • The final updated Priority Habitat map will be available to the public electronically as a geographic information system (GIS) data layer (via MassGIS).
  • A final town-based Priority Habitat map will be mailed to planning boards, building inspectors and conservation commissions in municipalities where Priority Habitats have been delineated.

*We reserve the right to take more time to complete our review of the public comments and for determining if modifications are necessary (321 CMR 10.12(6)(c)).