DCR Press Release-Sudbury Reservoir Hunting Public Information Meeting

Press Release

Please see enclosed image for information regarding DCR's public informational meeting regarding hunting around the Sudbury Reservoir.

Below is the text of the press release:

"Seeking to continue its efforts to promote healthy forests and protect the water supply in its water supply watersheds, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Division of Water Supply Protection will host a public information meeting on Wednesday September 11, 2019 to highlight the impacts of high deer densities around the Sudbury Reservoir watershed and present a plan to allow hunting on DCR Water Supply lands in this watershed. The meeting will start at 7:00PM and will be held at the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife offices, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581.

Due to the impacts on the forest in the Sudbury watershed from deer over-browse, the Sudbury watershed lands will be added to the lands within the watershed system that are open to hunting.
The 3,000+ acres of undeveloped land controlled by the DCR’s Division of Water Supply Protection (DWSP) surrounding the Sudbury and Foss Reservoirs and their tributaries is a valuable asset to the water supply system. The Sudbury Reservoir is an emergency water supply for the MWRA system. The Sudbury System was last used as an emergency supply in 2010 during a water main break in Weston.
Importantly, the forests in the Sudbury Watershed ensure the reliable protection of the reservoir’s water quality. Watershed management dictates that an actively growing, diverse, multi-age forest should be managed for regulating stream flow, maintaining water quality and preventing erosion. DCR staff have documented that deer browsing is a serious threat to the health and reproductive future of forests in the watershed. Due to deer browse and the persistence of invasive species, the Sudbury Forest is significantly lacking the regeneration needed to provide the future forest overstory. Currently, there is no deer management at the Sudbury Reservoir.

Therefore, DCR is planning to open a portion of the DWSP lands in the Sudbury to hunting. Hunting on these lands would require a free, online 5- year permit from the DWSP. The two areas open to hunting will be the lands immediately surrounding the Sudbury Reservoir (1400-acres) and the Crane Swamp/Walnut Hill area (650-acres)."