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.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?