Contact: Joe Mullin, New England States Coordinator
Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) announced that it had purchased a 465-acre parcel of land in order to create the Norcross Hill Wildlife Management Area. For the Bay State’s sportsmen and women, this news means increased access and hunting opportunities for years to come.
The decision to purchase this land is consistent with MassWildlife’s track record of protecting wildlife habitat throughout fiscal year 2019. During this time, Massachusetts has procured over 2,400 acres of property – all in the name of habitat protection.
A state’s decision to purchase land and open it for public use, such as the Norcross Hill Wildlife Management Area, is a testament to the key role that sportsmen and women play in wildlife conservation funding through the American System of Conservation Funding - a “user pays – public benefits” approach, which is widely recognized as the most successful funding structure for fish and wildlife management in the world, in which those that consumptively use public resources pay for the privilege to do so. In 2018, Massachusetts’ 538,000 hunters and anglers supported the state’s economy through spending more than $626 million while engaged in their pursuits.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation applauds MassWildlife for its dedication towards expanding opportunities for the Commonwealth’s sportsmen and women.
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Recently, Virginia has proposed legislation that would make the punishment for poaching, in their state, a 1-5 year prison sentence through HB-449. Poaching undermines the social acceptance of hunters, jobs, recreation, local and state economies, and conservation efforts. How should poachers be punished?Vote Here
- By sentencing them to jail time. (35.71%)
- By giving them a cash fine. (12.24%)
- By banning their hunting and fishing privileges and their ability to buy the necessary licenses. (16.33%)
- By putting them on a probation period. (1.02%)
- There should be some discretion in the penalties depending on the motivations for the poaching incident. (34.69%)