Changes coming to hunting at one MA National Wildlife Refuge

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Changes coming to hunting at one MA National Wildlife Refuge

Postby Mike M. » Thu Feb 09, 2006 9:03 pm

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After only one year of hunting at a few of the Eastern MA National Wildlife Refuges it looks like the USFWS might reduce hunting on one of the 3 (Assabet River) refuges that were opened to hunting just this year.

And you might be surprised as to why. The agency wants to build a visitor center at the Assabet River NWR. On page 31 of the Environmental Assessment the following is stated:

"After the visitor center is built, we will most likely modify the hunting zones on the refuge. A change to hunt areas would reduce potential conflicts between hunting and wildlife observation or environmental interpretation. It would also ensure a quality hunting experience by creating a buffer between the user types. It is likely that hunting opportunities may be slightly reduced on the refuge."

It is one thing to modify hunting zones so as to provide a safe and quality experience to all refuge visitors and another to reduce hunting opportunities. As you know, it is very likely that this refuge along with Oxbow and Great Meadows is going to initiate a hunting user fee at the beginning of next season. I do not think it is fair that we sportsmen are going to be paying for reduced hunting opportunities especially when some of these monies are likely to go towards this visitor center.


Well, I just wanted to let this all out in the open and for you to know about the possible reduction in hunting opportunity that could happen soon. It looks to me that once again sportsmen’s dollars are going to pay for conservation and we once again are going to get the short end of the stick.

Public comments are being accepted through February 22nd and can be sent to:

Bill Perry
Eastern MA National Wildlife Refuge Complex
73 Weir Hill Road
Sudbury, MA 01776

Or by email:

bill_perry@fws.gov

Questions can be addressed at the above address or by calling: (97 443-4661 ext. 32

The entire EA can be found here:

http://www.fws.gov/northeast/easternman ... F/VCEA.pdf
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Postby on duck call » Mon Feb 13, 2006 9:00 pm

Look on the positive side the birds have a good resting area to hold many birds and will actually I think give better successs. Duck clubs often close areas of the propery to keep the birds around.
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Postby Mike M. » Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:26 pm

on duck call,

This refuge only allows about a few hundred acres to waterfowl hunt on and is over 2,200 acres in total size. I'd say the birds have plenty of places to rest there as it is right now and you really cannot hunt anywhere else around that area because of no discharge of firearm ordinances.

I sent my comments in but it probably won't make any difference. Most likely very few hunters even know about this proposal and won't find out about it until the visitor center is up and hunting is reduced there.
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