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News MassWildlife Director Jack Buckley retires

After 30 years of service, MassWildlife Director Jack Buckley retired April 30, 2018.
  • Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
MassWildlife Director Jack Buckley

WestboroughAfter 30 years of service with the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), Director Jack Buckley retired April 30, 2018. Appointed as Director by the Fisheries and Wildlife Board in 2015, Buckley supported new outreach initiatives such as social media and agency re-branding; focused efforts on hunter and angler recruitment, retention, and reactivation; accelerated habitat management activities on MassWildlife lands; procured habitat management grant funding for private landowners and municipalities; and partnered with the MWRA for a pipeline to supply the McLaughlin Hatchery in Belchertown with gravity-fed water from Quabbin Reservoir. During this time, MassWildlife celebrated its 150th Anniversary, opened its new LEED Platinum certified Field Headquarters in Westborough for meetings and events to a wide variety of state agencies and conservation groups, and continued to protect and manage over 200,000 acres of important fish and wildlife habitat to benefit both wildlife and people.

The majority of Buckley’s career with MassWildlife was spent as Deputy Director of Administration and Personnel. He was responsible for personnel, fiscal, and budgetary management, legislative and external affairs, federal aid, information and education, licensing and permits, land acquisition, and the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. In 1998–2002, he also served as a Special Assistant to Secretary of Environmental Affairs Robert Durand for Forest Policy and Land Protection. Probably his most important contribution to the agency was his work on the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA) legislation, the creation of MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, and his involvement with a lawsuit that went before the Massachusetts Supreme Court. The Court ultimately affirmed the agency’s authority and actions relative to enforcement of MESA. Buckley was MassWildlife’s representative on the Public Access Board and the Pesticide Board. In addition, Buckley represented the Division on several committees of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, including Legislative Affairs, Federal Budget, and International Affairs. He was the regional representative of the northeastern states to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Technical Work Group.

Jack Buckley earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries Biology and a Master’s Degree in Fisheries Biology from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where he studied the endangered shortnose sturgeon in the Connecticut River. He worked at the Massachusetts Cooperative Fishery Research Unit at the University of Massachusetts as a Research Assistant and was promoted to Project Leader. Buckley then performed a stint as first Chief of Fisheries Management in Washington D. C. where he was responsible for developing the fisheries management program for the District of Columbia. His work in advancing fish and wildlife conservation has been recognized on local, regional, and national levels. Buckley was honored by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies with a Special Recognition Award in 2011 for his outstanding commitment to the work of the Association and with the Ernest Thompson Seton Award in 2013, honoring his leadership in scientific wildlife management as a CITES representative. The Massachusetts Sportsmen’s Council recently honored Buckley with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Colleagues and friends wish Jack the best in his well-earned retirement!

The Fisheries and Wildlife Board has appointed Mark Tisa as Acting Director. 

Division of Fisheries and Wildlife 

MassWildlife is responsible for the conservation of freshwater fish and wildlife in the Commonwealth, including endangered plants and animals. MassWildlife restores, protects, and manages land for wildlife to thrive and for people to enjoy.