BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $317,243 in grants for wildlife habitat improvement projects totaling 534 acres in 13 Massachusetts communities. These municipal and private conservation efforts will work to improve habitats for native wildlife and increase opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation.
“We are proud to provide municipalities, conservation organizations and private landowners the resources necessary to improve habitats for wildlife in need of conservation assistance, while enhancing recreational opportunities for people who enjoy hunting, bird watching and other wildlife-related recreation,” said Governor Charlie Baker.
“Wildlife habitat grants offer resources for improvement efforts usually unavailable to municipalities and private landowners,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We applaud these landowners for proactively working to make their land more hospitable to a wide range of native plants and wildlife.”
In its second year, the MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program provides financial assistance to private and municipal landowners of conserved lands to improve and manage habitat for wildlife deemed in greatest conservation need and for game species. The projects will also expand opportunities for hunting, fishing, trapping, and other outdoor recreation, and complement the ongoing habitat management efforts on state lands.
“Conservation science has demonstrated that habitat for common and rare wildlife and plants need active and ongoing maintenance and management,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “In addition to investing in stewardship of state lands, it’s vital that we work with municipalities and conservation organizations to achieve our common goal of protecting Massachusetts’ lands and wildlife.”
“Wildlife in special need of conservation as well as game species will benefit directly from these habitat management activities,” said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner George N. Peterson, Jr. “In addition, the sporting community, birders, naturalists, and other wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy improved recreational opportunities.”
“The reality is that 80 percent of Massachusetts’ lands where wildlife is found are owned privately,” said Jack Buckley, MassWildlife Director. “It makes sense as an agency to promote and apply science-based habitat management activities with committed municipal and private landowners, thereby protecting their investment in wildlife and habitat.”
The following landowners will receive MassWildlife Habitat Management grants:
- Town of Amherst (Amherst) – $18,426 – The Town of Amherst will remove woody vegetation and control invasive species to improve old field habitats.
- Massachusetts Forest Alliance (Ashfield and Hawley) – $47,950 – The Massachusetts Forest Alliance will create young forest habitat.
- Berkshire Natural Resources Council (Dalton and Hinsdale) – $18,000 – The Berkshire Natural Resources Council will work to control invasive plants and improve floodplain forest along the Old Mill Trail.
- The Trustees of Reservations (Ipswich) – $19,500 – The Trustees of Reservations will improve meadow habitat on the Appleton Farms property.
- Town of Lenox (Lenox) – 33,500 – The Town of Lenox will work to combat the hardy kiwi invasive plant infestation.
- Town of Marlborough (Marlborough) – $14,483 – The Town of Marlborough will work to control invasive plants in pitch pine – oak habitat at Desert Natural Area.
- Town of Mashpee (Mashpee) – $11,611 – The Town of Mashpee will convert an old bog into seasonal waterfowl habitat.
- Nantucket Conservation Foundation (Nantucket) – $38,469 – The Nantucket Conservation Foundation will reduce shrub and tree species cover to improve habitat conditions for wildlife dependent on grasslands and heathlands.
- MassAudubon (Otis) – $29,213 – MassAudubon will create new, and expand existing, shrubland habitat on the Cold Brook Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Nature Conservancy (Sheffield) – $23,640 – The Nature Conservancy will improve wetland and grassland habitats through the removal of woody plants on the Schenob Brook Preserve.
- The Trustees of Reservations (Sheffield) – $35,701 – The Trustees of Reservations will restore grassland habitat through woody species removal and invasive species control on the West Grumpelt Parcel of Bartholemew’s Cobble Preserve.
- Brian and Martha Klassanos (Ware) – $26,750 – Private landowners Brian and Martha Klassanos will treat invasive plants, establish grassland habitat, and improve shrublands on their Muddy Brook Valley property.
“Maintaining our open spaces for the enjoyment of our residents is vitally important to the preservation of the scenic treasures of our region,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “These funds will combat invasive species so future generations will be able to enjoy the open spaces that we have all come to cherish.”
“I am thrilled that MassWildlife is awarding the Habitat Management Grant to the town of Amherst to reclaim open field habitats,”State Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose (D-Amherst). “I’m glad Amherst is taking the initiative to protect our town against invasive species—and preserving our conservation lands for future generations.”
“Congratulations to Brian and Martha Klassanos for being awarded these conservation grant funds,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “The MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program is a wonderful partnership between MassWildlife and private and municipal land owners with the shared goal of preserving and managing our lands for current and future generations.”
“Habitat management plays a vital role in ensuring that the beauty and diversity of Massachusetts continues on for future generations to enjoy,” said State Representative Todd Smola (R-Warren). “I appreciate the Department of Fish and Game making these funds available.”
“Congratulations to the town of Ware on receiving this award and thank you to Mass Wildlife for their continued commitment to our local environmental projects,” said State Representative Donald Berthiaume (R-Spencer).
“Protecting and preserving our natural resources is a vital part of Massachusetts’ environmental programming and services,” said State Senator Adam G. Hinds (D-Pittsfield). “I appreciate the Administration’s support of these habitat improvement projects in Sheffield, Hinsdale, Ashfield, Otis and Lenox.”
“Improving and protecting wildlife management habitats is an important investment in maintaining the Commonwealth’s quality of life, and preserving a more sustainable environment which supports a diverse range of species and landscapes,” said State Representative Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington).
“Stewardship of our fragile environment is a cherished value on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. I am encouraged to learn that both the Nantucket Conservation Foundation and the Town of Mashpee have been chosen to receive Mass Wildlife Habitat Management Grants,” said State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro). “These grants will go a long way in helping to preserve and protect our unique corner of the Commonwealth.”
“Nantucket is a unique community that is home to our state’s most beautiful landscapes and we must do everything we can to preserve them,” said State Representative Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth). “I applaud the Nantucket Conservation Foundation on receiving this competitive Habitat Management Grant.”
“I applaud the Mashpee Conservation Department for their restoration plan for the abandoned cranberry bog in the Santuit Pond Preserve and want to thank Commissioner Peterson and Director Buckley for their contribution to the project through a MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant,” said State Rep. David T. Vieira (R-East Falmouth). “This project will benefit multiple users by increasing habitat, improving water quality, improving recreational hunting, contributing to passive wildlife observation, and offering educational opportunities through informative signage.”
—Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
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