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Massachusetts Forest and Park Friends Network


Happy New Year Friend,

January 7, 2013
In this newsletter:

Public Meeting
DCR Draft Parks and Recreation
Rules and Regulations

Help Distribute the Massachusetts Off-Highway Vehicle Handbook

Vernal Pool and Rare Species Reporting System Application

Attention Friends Groups—The Friends Network is Now On Facebook!

Networking Friends Groups

Cochituate State Park Advisory Committee

Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee

Grand Trunk Trail Blazers

Mass Audubon

Mt. Tom Citizens Advocacy Committee (Mt. Tom State Reservation) (email contact)

Friends of:

Alewife Reservation

Blue Hills Reservation

Buckland State Forest
(email contact)

Douglas, Howe Park and Spencer State Forest (email contact)

Fall River Freetown State Forest (email contact)

Middlesex Fells Reservation

Myles Standish State Forest

Nickerson State Park

Quabbin and Ware River

Robinson State Park

Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc.

Shawme-Crowell State Forest

Southeast Massachusetts Pine Barrens Allliance

Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT)

Springside Park

Upton State Forest

Waquoit Bay Reserve

Wompatuck State Park

Start the New Year off right by helping Massachusetts parklands. Below are three opportunities to get involved.

Looking forward to networking with you in the New Year,
The Friends Network Facilitators

DCR Parks and Recreation Rules and Regulations Draft

It is important for park advocates to weigh in on the Massachusetts Department of Conservation a­nd Recreation (DCR) draft of changes to the rules and regulations governing parks and recreation in the Commonwealth. We thought we'd make it easier for you to comment on the first draft by gathering the links you may need in one place.

Please read the DCR Public Notice below and use our links to the current laws to assist you with your comments. Attend the public meeting, the first of which is posted below. If you go, please drop us a line at friend@networkingfriends.net and let us know what you think.

DCR Public Notice

~Public Meeting~
DCR Draft Parks and Recreation
Rules and Regulations

Thursday, January 10, 2013 – 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Ponkapoag Golf Course
2167 Washington Street, Canton, MA
At this meeting, DCR will present information on draft rules and regulations governing the operations of state parks and recreational facilities, 302 CMR 12.00.  These draft rules and regulations will supersede those under which the agency currently operates, contained in 350 CMR 2.00 and 350 CMR 12.00, applying to those properties in the area formerly known as DCR’s Division of Urban Parks, and in 304 CMR 12.00, applying to state park and recreational facilities outside of that area.
The public meeting will include a brief presentation by DCR, followed by an opportunity for public input. The draft regulations are currently available for viewing here. The presentation that will be given at the public meeting will be available for viewing shortly on DCR’s website here.

In accordance with requirements of the Massachusetts Secretary of State, the DCR will conduct a formal hearing process, including statewide public hearings and a public comment period, in early 2013.  If you have questions about this public meeting, please call 617-626-4974 or email DCR.Updates@state.ma.us.

Help Distribute the Massachusetts Off-Highway Vehicle Handbook

Help get the word out! The Mass Environmental Police (MEP) have produced an excellent booklet, The Handbook of Massachusetts Off-Highway Vehicle Laws and Safe Operating Procedures for OHVs.

Hard copies of the Handbook are available for distribution by contacting OHV.SafetyCourse@Massmail.State.MA.US. Please help the MEP distribute the Handbooks by placing them at your local parks, libraries, police stations, schools, pediatricians' offices and other areas where safety information is made available to the public. Foldout pamphlets are available for the asking as well. The more people are aware of the new laws, the better for our forests, parklands and all visitors. Thanks for your help!

Vernal Pool and Rare Species Reporting System Application

--From MassWildlife News
The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) is pleased to announce that a new Android mobile application is now available for citizen scientists, sportsmen, birders, naturalists and other actively involved conservationists to report observations of rare species and vernal pools.

The new app is part of the electronic Vernal Pool and Rare Species Information System (VPRS) developed and launched this past November by MassWildlife's Natural Heritage and Endangered Species program. The app allows registered VPRS users to capture basic information (species, location, photographs) while out in the field. The captured information is used to create an observation report which can then be completed at a home computer and submitted to MassWildlife through the VPRS system.

More information on the app and a tutorial can be found at www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/nhesp/species_info/vprs_home.htm. The VPRS was funded by an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Wetland Program Development Grant with some additional funds provided by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) in support of the Linking Landscapes Program.

Massachusetts Forest and Park Friends Network

Promote Your Page Too

Attention Friends Groups—The Friends Network Is Now On Facebook!

Post your group's events and information you'd like to share with other Friends groups at the new Friends Network Facebook page. You'll reach more people while letting other groups know what your group is up to. It's a great way to get connected.

Highlights and a photo album of the Friends Network 2012 Conference is on Facebook now.

Please join the Friends Network Facebook page and "like us" too!

The Massachusetts Forest and Park Friends Network | P.O. Box 1199 | Plymouth, MA 02362
Web site www.networkingfriends.net | e-mail:  friend@networkingfriends.net

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MA Forest and Park Friends Network
P.O. Box 1199
Plymouth, Massachusetts 02362