My name is Mike Krunklevich; I live in orange, Massachusetts. I am an avid outdoorsman; I hunt, fish, hike, and just enjoy the outdoors. I have been using and enjoying the Quabbin Watershed since the early 1950’s.
I’ve noticed a steady decline in the availability of the watershed for public use over the years. By public use, I mean common people (woodchucks such as myself and some of my fishing and hunting friends) as opposed to privileged people whom have access to Prescott Peninsula that I am not even allowed to walk on anymore, only DCR bosses and high ranking politicians are allowed to enjoy Prescott Peninsular and fish on the Windsor Dam side of the barrels; Bernie refers to this as a rigged economy, or in this case rigged pleasure. The top 1% of DCR employs get the use of the choicest areas of the watershed and make polices like introducing rattlesnakes to the watershed, which I consider absurd. If it comes to pass, (experience tells me it has already been decided at the top. Have a public hearing to gather some support). I would recommend putting the snakes on Prescott Peninsula with the snakes from the top 1% of DCR and letting Darwin decide the outcome! Mostly public hearings are only held after the top 1% has already decided what the policy is going to be.
A few words about the absurdity of stocking rattlesnakes in Quabbin. I only write this because I sincerely believe the top 1% at DCR are not smart enough to understand the inevitable outcome. Surely it is inevitable that someone is going to get bit by a rattlesnake, lets take a hypothetical. A DCR boss is showing his lawyer friend the snake population. The lawyer accidently steps on snake and gets bit (or do snakes not bite lawyers due to professional courtesy???) The lawyer sues the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for zillions of dollars. The top 1% decides they have to close the watershed to all unnecessary humans what is the priority here people or endangered wildlife?
In conclusion this is just a subtle way of saying the DCR wants no people in Quabbin Watershed other than the top 1% of DCR and their political cronies!
On the management of wildlife; (1) loons, the top 1% decided that loons had priority over common people bring on the lead ban; everything in fishing equipment contains some amount of lead. This policy cost me and every fisherman I know untold dollars. To add insult to injury loon palaces were constructed to make a better life for the loons. If I get caught on the reservoir in a thunderstorm I have no shelter, cannot use loon lodge. (2) zebra mussels, this is another encroachment on my rights. Several years back I bought a kayak special for fishing the Pottaug and O’Laughlin ponds in watershed. The following year the top 1% decided boats would have to be washed and sealed to be used in reservoir, mainly so the zebra mussel wouldn’t be introduced to a reservoir where biologists say they would be unable to reproduce. This policy cost me a little over a thousand dollars. This boat washing drove an estimated 50% of fishermen away from using Quabbin because once boat was washed and sealed the boat could not be used to fish anywhere but the Quabbin if the seal got broken, you had to get an appointment and get boat washed and sealed at last I heard 40$. This boat sealing is another sub-bureaucracy within the DCR bureaucracy. What will the rattlesnake sub-bureaucracy consist of? Will need snake handlers (top 1% of DCR will not touch them), will need snake catchers for the snakes that do not obey French’s Law (snakes will not go more than4 miles from den) will need electronic collars or tags (at 600$ apiece) will need a surgeon to install chips and antennas and an installation technician will need an electronic repair department will need a school to train above technicians and the public until they are banned from watershed due to costly lawsuits. What we have here is not a sub-bureaucracy, this is a complete bureaucracy all of it own. Why don’t we make the Quabbin a Zoo as its number one priority then we could group all these smaller bureaucracies under one umbrella called a Zoo. Lets move water to the number two priority. Us local people don’t use Quabbin water. Possibly a few of the top 1% DCR (most of the fat cats live in Boston) will die of thirst and prove to us that they are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for rattlesnakes. Aren’t us taxpayers of Massachusetts paying 6 million$ to fix the Zoo in Boston? Can we afford to make the Quabbin into a zoo? (3) Whitetail deer mismanagement Back in the day I would see deer and sometimes many deer on my visits to Quabbin Watershed I haven’t seen a deer in watershed in the last three years. This is a crime committed by the deer herd biologists perhaps due to pressure by the top 1% of DCR. It appears the policy is to hunt the whitetail deer to extinction (enter Mr. French, restoration specialist, Is this called job security?) as long as they make money, no-one cares about the deer population, except the local hunters. Many of us local hunters (we get the overflow from Quabbin) we, local hunters, started a petition to end the Quabbin deer hunt. We got many signatures and sent to Boston. Surprise, nothing was ever heard about petition to end deer hunt! Could it have been out problem that we had no signatures from the top 1% of DCR I personally find the Quabbin deer hunt disgusting? First off most of the so-called hunters are not hunters, they are shooters they just want to kill something. These shooters drive around the watershed in their Honda prius electric cars, DCR or State issued, deer can’t even hear them coming. These so-called hunters get lost in their cars! It is comical to watch. During the deer slaughter, there are many signs saying things like this way out.
Before trying to establish an exotic wildlife population maybe the biologists and management at DCR could try to establish a viable smelt population in Quabbin.
It is hard for me to believe that these wildlife biologists are this incompetent. I smell something rotten at the top 1% DCR