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星期四, 10月 13, 2016

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Land Protection Project in New Braintree

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Land Protection Project in New Braintree
State Permanently Protects 100 Acres Owned by Worcester County League of Sportsmen’s Clubs

NEW BRAINTREE – October 13, 2016 – Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton today joined representatives of the Worcester County League of Sportsmen’s Clubs (WCLSC) to announce the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) acquisition of a conservation restriction that permanently protects 100 acres of forested land in New Braintree. The acquisition ensures permanent protection and public access to upland game habitat, and abuts the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MassWildlife) 535-acre Winimusset Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

“As a result of innovative public-private partnerships, this project will protect important wildlife habitat and provide recreational opportunities in the Worcester area,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration continues to be committed to conserving our natural resources and ensuring all citizens of the Commonwealth have access to the recreation that our rivers, lakes, oceans, forests and parks have to offer.”

“I am proud we were able to work with the Worcester County League of Sportsmen’s Clubs to permanently protect this valuable land for the people and the wildlife of the region,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This project not only protects the wildlife and plant life of this land, but also guarantees that the public will have access to the property for hunting, hiking and wildlife viewing.”

“Hunters and anglers have always played an important role in the conservation of natural resources in Massachusetts, and we are grateful the Worcester County League of Sportsmen’s Clubs has continued that tradition by partnering with us to protect this land,” said EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The conservation restriction ensures that the upland forest will never be developed and protects habitat for wild turkey, deer, bear, moose, wood frogs and forest songbirds.”

The Department of Fish and Game and MassWildlife spent $100,000 for the conservation restriction, now called the Winimusset Wildlife Conservation Easement (WCE), on 100 acres of WCLSC property. Funding for DFG’s land acquisition program comes from a combination of sources, including the state environmental bond and Wildlands Stamp funds collected from fishing, hunting and trapping license sales and donations.
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“This public-private partnership with the Worcester County League of Sportsmen ensures protection and ongoing stewardship of critical upland forest wildlife habitat,” said DFG Commissioner George Peterson. “In addition, its proximity to the Winimusset Wildlife Management Area enhances its value to wildlife and the public.”

“I want to thank the Worcester County League for working with us to protect this land,” said MassWildlife Director Jack Buckley. “The League offered the easement at a generous discount that was fully funded by the Wildlands Stamp Fund and has agreed to MassWildlife retaining right-of-first-refusal to purchase the land should the League decide to sell. This is a great example of sportsmen and women’s wildlife conservation commitment that provides benefits now and into the future.”

“The sportsmen and women deeply appreciate the partnership with the Worcester County League and the work of Fisheries and Wildlife to permanently conserve this critical habitat,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer). “This area is well used by people of all ages who enjoy seeing various wildlife and passive recreation.”

Prior to the conservation restriction acquisition, the Worcester County League implemented a Forest Management Plan integrating sustainable forestry practices to enhance the upland habitat of the property for turkey, bear, deer, grouse, and other wildlife. The League’s sustainable forestry practices will continue in coordination with MassWildlife’s forestry staff under the conservation restriction.

“From this day forward the Babbit/Gribbons property will forever be an open space where everyone will have the opportunity to experience and pass on the heritage of an outdoor lifestyle,” said Jim Nishan, President of the Worcester County League of Sportsmen’s Clubs. “Some will come to hunt, others to watch fireflies with their kids, or just smell the flowers. All are welcome.”

The Worcester County League of Sportsmen's Clubs is a regional sporting organization representing over 60 member sportsmen’s clubs with a membership of 20,000 members in Worcester County. The League works to promote and protect the interests of sportsmen and citizens in the areas of conservation, environment, farmer, landowners and sportsmen relations, hunting, fishing and access to public waters.

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is responsible for promoting the conservation and enjoyment of the Commonwealth’s natural resources. DFG carries out this mission through land protection and wildlife habitat management, management of inland and marine fish and wildlife species, and ecological restoration of fresh water, salt water, and terrestrial habitats. DFG promotes enjoyment of the Massachusetts environment through outdoor skills workshops, fishing festivals and other educational programs, and by enhancing access to the Commonwealth's rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.