For Immediate Release - July 21, 2011

GOVERNOR PATRICK SIGNS LEGISLATION NAMING THE STEPHEN DRAWBRIDGE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA

Signed Senate Bill 326


Wednesday, July 20, 2011 -- Governor Patrick signed Senate Bill 326 renaming the Barre Falls Wildlife Management Area, the Stephen Drawbridge Wildlife Management Area.(Photo: Matt Bennett/Governor's Office)

BOSTON - July 21, 2011 - Governor Deval Patrick yesterday signed Senate Bill 326 renaming the Barre Falls Wildlife Management Area, the Stephen Drawbridge Wildlife Management Area. The management area is being named after Stephen Drawbridge, who served as senior forester for the Department of Fish and Game's Division of Fish and Wildlife at the Ware River Watershed from 1978 until his death in 2002.

"The signing of this bill honors a true public servant of the Commonwealth who dedicated his life to managing and protecting the environment," said Governor Patrick. "The passion Stephen showed in his duties at the Ware River area serves as an inspiration to us all."

The newly-named Stephen Drawbridge Wildlife Management Area is a 10,557-acre area that spans the towns of Barre, Hubbardston, Oakham and Rutland. With a hardwood and conifer forest mixed with open fields, marsh and dense shrub swamps, the area is home to pheasants, grouse, deer, turkeys, rabbits, fox, gray squirrel and waterfowl - plus a variety of nongame species including amphibians, reptiles, raptors and wading birds.

"By renaming the Barre Falls Wildlife Management Area for Stephen, we are remaining committed to the memory of a dedicated and passionate conservationist and friend of the Commonwealth. Stephen's enthusiasm for the environmental community was evident in both his professional and personal life. He was an avid sportsman and innovator in the field of forest management. This bill is a fitting tribute to a wonderful man," stated Stephen M. Brewer, Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and Senate Sponsor of this legislation.

"It was a privilege to work on this piece of legislation," said Representative Anne Gobi. "Steve Drawbridge's service to the Commonwealth was evident in his longtime forest management and environmental concern for the entire Wildlife Management Area and it is a fitting honor to name this in memory of a man who dedicated himself to public service."

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