New Massachusetts Outdoor Recreation Map Published
On July 1, at Walden Pond, Massachusetts environmental officials displayed a new “Massachusetts Outdoor Recreation Map” packed with information for residents and visitors looking for places to enjoy outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, hunting, camping, hiking, wildlife watching, and swimming across the Bay State. The newly revised and updated Massachusetts Outdoor Recreation Map shows conservation lands managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. It also identifies all boat access, sport fishing piers, and shore fishing areas built by DFG’s Office of Fishing and Boating Access. There is additional information about outdoor safety and ethics, licensing requirements for fishing and hunting, and web links to further information regarding recreational opportunities on state properties. Officials praised the maps as a great resource for tourists and Massachusetts residents alike.
“Whether you appreciate active recreation like kayaking in the rapids of one of the state’s rivers or more sedate activities like strolling down a beautiful beach, Massachusetts has much to offer to anyone who loves the great outdoors,” Governor Patrick writes in a message to map users. “This outdoor recreation map is a fantastic resource for you to get to know all of our natural assets.”
“Summer is here. It’s time to get out and enjoy the 620,000 acres of open space managed by the Massachusetts Departments of Fish and Game and Conservation and Recreation,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles, whose office oversees both departments. “At a time when many people are concerned about travel and fuel expenses, I encourage folks to see what Massachusetts has to offer for summer vacation options and outdoor activities throughout the year.” Mary Griffin, DFG Commissioner noted, “Massachusetts has an incredible diversity of parks, forests, reservations, and wildlife management areas that offer all kinds of recreational opportunities for adults and children.”
Publication of this map is the latest example of environmental agencies collaborating on a common goal of promoting outdoor recreation, welcoming tourism and helping to boost the state’s economy. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, recreational anglers in Massachusetts (both residents and non-residents) spent more than $769 million in 2006, while hunters spent more than $70 million and people who enjoy wildlife watching spent about $755 million. The USFWS estimates that 1.9 million people participated in wildlife watching in Massachusetts in 2006, about 500,000 people enjoyed fishing, and 73,000 hunted. According to the DCR, more than 14 million people visit Massachusetts state forests and parks annually. The DCR reports that reservations at state campgrounds are up nearly 14 percent from last year.
The Massachusetts Outdoor Recreation Map will be available for free at the DFG and Office of Fishing and Boating offices in Boston, all MassWildlife offices and hatcheries, DCR properties across the state, and selected highway information centers. To obtain a map by postal mail, send a self-addressed 59 cent stamped business sized envelope to: Outdoor Recreation Map, MassWildlife Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Rd, Westboro MA 01581. The map is also available online at http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/recreation/publications/recreation_map.pdf.