Wildlife grants to help Heath, Athol with forestry

Recorder Staff
Last modified: 1/21/2016 10:55:06 AM
Heath and Athol will be able to make improvements to conservation land areas, thanks to wildlife habitat improvement grants from the state Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

$19,899 has been awarded to the Franklin Land Trust to root out invasive species — multiflora rose, Japanese barberry and Oriental bittersweet from the 100 acres of the Crowningshield Farm.

Last spring, the Franklin Land Trust completed its first fisheries conservation project, protecting over a mile of wild brook trout water on the West Branch North River in Heath on the new Crowningshield Wildlife Management Area.

The goal of this grant-funded project is to restore native grasslands to replace the invasive plants.

In Athol, the town Conservation Commission will get $24,610 in grant funds to create young forest habitats on Athol’s 1,000-acre Bearsden Conservation Area.

“These grants will allow municipalities and conservation organizations to improve wildlife habitats and enhance recreational opportunities for people who enjoy hunting, bird watching and other outdoor recreations,” said Gov. Charlie Baker.

The new 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.

Altogether, about $300,000 in wildlife grants were awarded for 13 wildlife habitat improvement projects in a dozen communities statewide.

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