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Environment Massachusetts Calls Permanent Ban on Logging around State Drinking Water Sources

For Immediate Release

Belchertown, MA – Environment Massachusetts, a statewide, citizen supported advocacy organization released a new whitepaper today calling on the state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to permanently halt all clear-cutting on state owned land in the Quabbin Reservoir watershed.

 “The first step, of course, is to admit that mistakes were made.  The Patrick administration has made some serious mistakes protecting our drinking water, but I applaud the administration for recognizing this and taking positive action to protect the Quabbin” said Ben Wright, advocate with Environment Massachusetts

 In addition to the report, Wright delivered 5,000 public comments to the Department’s Belchertown office in advance of the first of 6 public listening sessions.  The sessions are being held in response to public outcry over mismanagement of watershed land.  This mismanagement, in watershed and other DCR managed lands lead the Forest Stewardship Council, an internationally recognized “Green-Forestry” certification organization, to revokeMassachusetts’ certification.

 In early July, public outcry led to the Governor placing a one year moratorium on logging around the Quabbin, and the 6 listening sessions are designed to evaluate whether the moratorium should be permanent.

 “If we don’t know we’re doing it right, we shouldn’t be logging at all” said Wright.  “I applaud the Governor for listening to the public and I trust the administration will ultimately do the right thing and permanently ban clear cutting around all of our drinking water sources.”

 The whitepaper catalogs mismanaged forestry projects in Massachusetts and makes that case that the state should build off of the recently concluded Forests Visioning Process with a separate process for state managed lands around drinking water sources, like the Quabbin reservoir.