Public Comment Requested

Background: In May of 2004, all MassWildlife lands under the agency's management control were first certified under the international Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) criteria for sustainable forestry and the FSC Northeast Standard. This initial five-year certification (also known as Green Certification) expired in April of 2009 and MassWildlife lands and management practices went through a comprehensive re-certification audit that began in March 2009 and was completed in August 2009. ( 2009 Audit Report pdf format of    Green Certification Report 2009  file size 1MB )

The 2009 re-certification audit report established two major conditions or Corrective Action Requests (CAR) that MassWildlife must comply with before any state wildlife lands can be re-certified.

Corrective Actions Taken By MassWildlife

The first CAR MassWildlife will address is to make publicly available a summary of the results of monitoring indicators, including those listed under FSC Principle 8 (Monitoring and Assessment), Criterion 8.2 (Indicators). To comply with this CAR, MassWildlife is updating and expanding its existing Biological Monitoring web page to address all indicators under FSC Criterion 8.2.

The second CAR addressed is for the agency to make publicly available a complete listing of MassWildlife lands to be included in the scope of the FSC certificate, and lands to be excluded from the scope of the certificate, with an explanation of the reasons for exclusions. Public notification and stakeholder consultation about the change in the scope of the certificate must also be completed and documented.

To comply with the second CAR, MassWildlife has identified:

  • Properties currently being considered for Forest Certification (Tables 1 and Table 2),
  • Properties that will be considered for Forest Certification in the future (Tables 1 and Table 3), and
  • Properties to be excluded from Forest Certification (Table 1 and Table 4).

November 20--MassWildlife posted this information for a public comment period, October 30, 2009 - November 30, 2009. The comment period was extended to December 20, 2009. The Division is specifically seeking public comments relative to the properties that will be included vs. excluded from the FSC certification process.

Public comments can be emailed to Mass.Wildlife@state.ma.us, or sent via postal service mail to: "Forest Certification Comment", MassWildlife, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581. DFW will post a summary of all comments received, and describe any action to be taken in response to comments received.

Correction on Land Tables--One error in the DFW property tables has been found. The DFW English Salt Marsh was mistakenly included in Table 3 as a property that would be considered for FSC certification once a publicly reviewed management plan is completed, but it should have been included in Table 4 as a DFW property that will not be considered for certification because it is a non-forested salt marsh. The correction has been made in the tables below.

January 2010--DFW posted a summary of public comments and the agency's response received from the above request.


Properties Currently Considered for Recertification

Table 1 - Summary of DFW Lands for Recertification

Status As of April 2009Acres
Fee properties covered by a publicly reviewed FMZ plan and eligible for re-certification in 200944,085
Fee properties not presently covered by a publicly reviewed FMZ plan and eligible for re-certification after 200983,920
Fee properties that will not be submitted for re-certification16,306
Total144,311

Table 2 - Properties with Publicly Reviewed FMZ Plans

Only MassWildlife lands that are presently covered by a publicly reviewed Forest Management Zone (FMZ) plan are being considered for re-certification. These lands include more than 44,000 acres in the Berkshire Highlands and Taconic Mountains FMZ's (Table 2). For maps of these individual properties, go to the Wildlife Management Area Maps.

Fee properties with publicly reviewed FMZ plans and assigned to a Site Plan UnitSite Plan Unit AcresForest Management Zone (FMZ)
Catamount WMA462Berkshire Highlands
Chalet, Stafford Hill, Eugene Moran, and Savoy WMA11,321Berkshire Highlands
Cummington WMA, Lilly Pond WMA, Westfield River Access, and Fisk Meadows WMA1,319Berkshire Highlands
Day Mountain WMA and Housatonic River Access398Berkshire Highlands
Farmington River WMA, Becket WMA, and Otis WMA2,121Berkshire Highlands
Fox Den WMA and Westfield River Access (Worthington & Chester)4,773Berkshire Highlands
Hawley NHA282Berkshire Highlands
Hinsdale Flats WMA1,555Berkshire Highlands
Hiram H Fox WMA3,492Berkshire Highlands
Peru WMA5,075Berkshire Highlands
Poland Brook WMA724Berkshire Highlands
Rowe NHA36Berkshire Highlands
Satan's Kingdom WMA1,724Berkshire Highlands
Shattuck Brook WMA, Leyden WMA, Green River WMA, and Green River Access997Berkshire Highlands
Tekoa Mountain WMA and Grace A Robson Sanctuary1,482Berkshire Highlands
Walnut Hill WMA, John J Kelly WMA, and Westfield River Access1,314Berkshire Highlands
Whately WMA and Mt Esther WMA514Berkshire Highlands
Berkshire Highlands FMZ Sub-total37,591 
Agawam Lake WMA, Kampoosa Fen NHA, and Hop Brook WMA947Taconic Mountains & Marble Valleys
George L. Darey Housatonic Valley WMA809Taconic Mountains & Marble Valleys
Green River WMA, Bullock Ledge NHA and Hoosac River Access514Taconic Mountains & Marble Valleys
Jug End State Reservation & WMA, Jug End Fen NHA, and Dolomite Ledges NHA1,452Taconic Mountains & Marble Valleys
Lanesboro NHA89Taconic Mountains & Marble Valleys
Maple Hill WMA, Fairfield Brook NHA, and Nordeen Marsh NHA 573462Taconic Mountains & Marble Valleys
Taconic Mountain WMA and E Howe Forbush Sanctuary921Taconic Mountains & Marble Valleys
Three Mile Pond WMA, Housatonic River Access, and Konkapot River Access1,171Taconic Mountains & Marble Valleys
Taconic Mountains & Marble Valleys FMZ Sub-total6,476 
Sub-total for fee properties with publicly reviewed FMZ plans and assigned to a Site Plan Unit44,067 
Fee properties with publicly reviewed FMZ plans and not assigned to a Site Plan Unit  
Deerfield River Access18Berkshire Highlands
Total Certificate Acres for consideration in 2009 pending completion of Major CAR's44,085 

Properties To Be Considered for Future Recertification

Nearly 84,000 additional DFW acres below will be considered for certification in the future once publicly reviewed FMZ plans are completed. Wildlife Management Area Maps.

Table 3

Fee properties with publicly reviewed FMZ plans and assigned to a Site Plan UnitSite Plan Unit AcresForest Management Zone (FMZ)
E Kent Swift WMA, Blackstone River Access, Quisset WMA, and Chockalog Swamp NHA692Blackstone Complex
Merrill Pond WMA, Mine Brook WMA, and Lackey Pond WMA1,993Blackstone Complex
Blackstone Complex Sub-total2,686 
East Mountain WMA, Southampton WMA, and Mt Tom NHA611Connecticut River Valley
Honey Pot NHA and Westfield River Access518Connecticut River Valley
Lake Warner WMA95Connecticut River Valley
Montague Plains WMA and Bitzer Fish Hatchery1,673Connecticut River Valley
Mt Toby WMA and Mt Toby Highalnds NHA449Connecticut River Valley
Pauchaug Brook WMA159Connecticut River Valley
Southwick WMA252Connecticut River Valley
Whately Great Swamp WMA and Whately Ponds Fish and Wildlife Area628Connecticut River Valley
Williamsburg WMA and Brewer Brook WMA307Connecticut River Valley
Connecticut River Valley FMZ Sub-total 4,693 
Ashby WMA and Trapfall Brook Access1,228Northeast Coastal Plain
Bolton Flats WMA, Clinton Bluff NHA and Mossy Pond Access1,239Northeast Coastal Plain
Boxboro Station NHA and Acton Whittier Forest Area158Northeast Coastal Plain
Elbow Meadow NHA, Dunstable Brook WMA, and Hauk Swamp NHA452Northeast Coastal Plain
JC Phillips Sanctuary408Northeast Coastal Plain
Martha Deering WMA and Quinsigamond Marsh334Northeast Coastal Plain
Nissitissit River WMA and Nashua River Access409Northeast Coastal Plain
Northboro Forest Area, Westboro WMA, & Sudbury River Access1,005Northeast Coastal Plain
Pantry Brook WMA and Bay Circuit Trail481Northeast Coastal Plain
Squannacook River WMA and Townsend Forest Area234Northeast Coastal Plain
Squannacook River WMA, Hunting Hills WMA, Mulpus Brook WMA, Ayer Game Farm, and Nashua River Access1,596Northeast Coastal Plain
Northeast Coastal Plain FMZ Sub-total 7,545 
Crane Pond WMA, Martin H Burns WMA, and North Shore Salt Marsh6,242North Shore
North Shore Sub-total 6,242 
Black Brook WMA297Southeast Coast & Islands
Burrage Pond WMA and Peterson Swamp WMA2,110Southeast Coast & Islands
Dartmoor Farm WMA472Southeast Coast & Islands
Frances A Crane WMA1,790Southeast Coast & Islands
Grassy Pond NHA (Plymouth)32Southeast Coast & Islands
Haskell Swamp WMA, Mattapoisett River WMA, & Rochester WMA3,122Southeast Coast & Islands
Hockomock Swamp WMA & West Meadows WMA5,585Southeast Coast & Islands
Hyannis Ponds WMA357Southeast Coast & Islands
Mashpee River Access, Quashnet Woods State Reservation, and Mashpee Pine Barrens NHA754Southeast Coast & Islands
Red Brook WMA458Southeast Coast & Islands
Rocky Gutter WMA3,315Southeast Coast & Islands
SE Mass Bioreserve, Noquochoke WMA, Copicut WMA, & Freetown Swamp WMA4,528Southeast Coast & Islands
Sly Pond NHA, Harlow Cooks Pond NHA, & South Triangle Pond NHA258Southeast Coast & Islands
Spring Hill, Lawrence Pond & Hog Pond Lots, Triangle Pond Access, & Wakeby Pond Access244Southeast Coast & Islands
Taunton River Access, Purchade Brook WMA, Meetinghouse Swamp WMA, & Muddy Pond523Southeast Coast & Islands
Southeast Coast & Islands FMZ Sub-total 24,279 
Bennett Meadows WMA & Four Chimneys WMA504Worcester Plateau
Birch Hill WMA3,735Worcester Plateau
Facing Rock WMA1,366Worcester Plateau
Five Mile RiverAccess, Seven Mile River Access & Podunk Marsh284Worcester Plateau
Herman Covey WMA1,450Worcester Plateau
High Ridge WMA & Quag Pond Bog NHA2,350Worcester Plateau
Lawrence Brook WMA267Worcester Plateau
Leadmine WMA & Breakneck Brook WMA1,392Worcester Plateau
McKinstry Brook WMA292Worcester Plateau
Millers River WMA (Phillipston, Athol, Royalston)3,375Worcester Plateau
Millers River WMA (Winchendon)232Worcester Plateau
Montague WMA1,784Worcester Plateau
Moose Brook WMA & Raccoon Hill WMA1,176Worcester Plateau
Moose Hill WMA571Worcester Plateau
Muddy Brook WMA1,400Worcester Plateau
Natty Brook Access95Worcester Plateau
Oakham WMA740Worcester Plateau
Palmer WMA & Reed Fish Hatchery2,489Worcester Plateau
Phillipston, Popple Camp & Prince River WMA5,564Worcester Plateau
Poutwater Pond WMA & Quinapoxet River Access432Worcester Plateau
Quaboag WMA & Richardson WMA2,213Worcester Plateau
Quacumquasit WMA, Wolf Swamp WMA, & Hamilton Forest Area1,226Worcester Plateau
Savage Hill WMA & Thayer Pond WMA1,009Worcester Plateau
Sputtermill Pond Access65Worcester Plateau
Susan B Minns Sanctuary148Worcester Plateau
Wales WMA205Worcester Plateau
Warwick WMA & Orange WMA1,911Worcester Plateau
Wendell WMA & Sibley Brook Access592Worcester Plateau
Winimusset WMA, Moose Brook Access & Ware River Access1,110Worcester Plateau
Worcester Plateau Sub-total 37,979 
Sub-total of fee properties within a site plan unit that can become eligible pending public review of FMZ plans83,424 
Connecticut River Access11Connecticut River Valley
Deerfield River Access5Connecticut River Valley
Rainbow Beach NHA34Connecticut River Valley
Sunderland Islands18Connecticut River Valley
Ipswich River Access2North Shore
Salisbury Salt Marsh, Eagle Island, Carr Island, Ram Island, & N Shore Salt Marsh220North Shore
Shepard's Island15North Shore
Concord River Access4Northeast Coastal Plain
Knops Pond Access1Northeast Coastal Plain
Clapps Pond Access73Southeast Coast & Islands
Head of the Plains NHA2Southeast Coast & Islands
Olivers Pond NHA12.2Southeast Coast & Islands
Southeast District H.Q.22Southeast Coast & Islands
Weymouth Back River Access1Southeast Coast & Islands
Weymouth Back River Access15Southeast Coast & Islands
Fisherville Pond Access3Worcester Plateau
Mill River Access59Worcester Plateau
Packard Pond Access1Worcester Plateau
TOTAL496 
Total fee properties that can become eligible pending public review of FMZ plans 83,920 

Properties Excluded from Forest Certification

Properties listed below will be excluded from forest recertification for various reasons, including: facility development (boat launch sites, offices and hatcheries), non-forested lands (salt marshes, roadside corridors, sand dunes), and lands not completely under MassWildlife's management control.

Table 4

Fee Properties to be Excluded from Re-CertificationAcresReason for Exclusion
Agawam Mill Pond Access2Developed for boat ramp
Attitash Public Access0Developed for boat ramp
Baddacook Pond Access2Developed for boat ramp
Bakers Pond Access1.5Developed for boat ramp
Bearse Pond Access6Developed for boat ramp
Blish Point Boat Ramp4Developed for boat ramp
Brayton Point Salt Marsh2Non-Forested Salt Marsh
Chase Garden Creek Salt Marsh48Non-Forested Salt Marsh
Childs River Access0Developed for boat ramp
Connecticut River Access80Primarily non-forest & developed for boat ramp
Cooks Pond Access7.3Developed for boat ramp
Darwin Scott Memorial NHA27.9Primarily non-forested site
Deerfield River Access1Developed for boat ramp
Dogfish Bar Beach Coastal Area2.1Non-Forested Coastal Beach
English Salt Marsh434Non-Forested Salt Marsh
Eastham Salt Marsh7Non-Forested Salt Marsh
Egg Rock Sanctuary2.6Non-Forested Ocean Island
Fox Island Salt Marsh71Non-Forested Salt Marsh
Glen Echo Lake Access1Developed for boat ramp
Gosnold WMA4.5Non-Forested Ocean Island
Grassy Pond NHA (Dennis)7.6Non-Forested coastal area
Great Herring Pond Boat Ramp 2.6 Developed for boat rampDeveloped for boat ramp
Katama Plains NHA23.1Non-Forested Ocean Island Area
Lake Lorraine Access1.1Developed for boat ramp
Lake Rohunta Access3Developed for boat ramp
Lake Snipatuit Access2Developed for boat ramp
Leland Beach120Non-Forested Beach
Little Alum Pond Access0Developed for boat ramp
Lobster Hatchery13Primarily non-forested facility
Long Sought For Pond Access1.2Developed for boat ramp
Massachusetts Military Reservation14,344Military retains lease for management purposes
Masscuppic Lake Access0Developed for boat ramp
Miacomet Heath NHA4.3Non-Forested coastal area
Milk Island Sanctuary25Non-Forested Ocean Island Area
Nemasket River Access0.3Developed for boat ramp
North Attleboro Hatchery15Primarily non-forested facility
North Shore Salt Marsh243Non-Forested Salt Marsh
Northeast District Headquarters0.7Primarily non-forested facility
Penikese Island Sanctuary84.2Developed for boat ramp
Plymouth Harbor Boat Ramp2.3Developed for boat ramp
Popponesset Beach8Non-Forested Coastal Beach
Provincetown Route 6 Corridor53Roadside corridor
Ram Island Sanctuary1.6Developed for boat ramp
Robbins Pond Access0.4Developed for boat ramp
Salisbury Salt Marsh, Eagle Island, Carr Island, Ram Island, and N Shore Salt Marsh690.1Non-Forested Salt Marsh and non-forested coastal areas & islands
Sandwich Fish Hatchery182Primarily non-forested facility
Sandy Point Coastal Access0.3Developed for boat ramp
Sawmill River Access57Developed for boat ramp
Scorton Creek Coastal Access6Developed for boat ramp
Shubael Pond Access3Developed for boat ramp
South Barrier Beach0.2Non-Forested Coastal Beach
South Shore Salt Marsh WMA19Non-Forested Salt Marsh
Southeast District H.Q.3Developed Facility
Spectacle Pond Access0.5Developed for boat ramp
Sunderland Fish Hatchery109Developed Facility
Tarpaulin Cove Sanctuary3.8Non-Forested coastal area
Thad Ellis NHA1Non- Forested
Webster Lake Boat Ramp1.1Developed for boat ramp
Western District Headquarters3Developed Facility
Total fee acres that will not be submitted for inclusion under the 2009-2014 Certificate 16,306