Modifications Proposed to Current Trapping Law

The following letter composed by the Committee for Responsible Wildlife Management (CRWM) to the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, describes the CRWM’s position of support for pending legislation regarding modifications to current trapping laws.  For more information on the Committee for Responsible Wildlife Management please visit their website




Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture
473F State House
Boston MA 02133

Subject: Support for HB750

Dear Joint Committee Senate Chairman Pacheco, House Chairwoman Gobi and members,

Please accept this written testimony in support of Representative Stephen Kulik’s House Bill 750, An act conserving our natural resources. This wildlife management bill provides much needed, reasonable modifications to our existing trapping law that will help our state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) participate in and better manage our wildlife resources.

HB 750 will accomplish this by establishing joint regulating responsibility and authority between the Department of Health and Safety (DHS) and the DFW. The existing law remains in tact for health and safety concerns, while allowing the DFW the ability to regulate specific types of traps during an established season or for the purposes of research or threats to listed threatened and endangered species. Three devices are specifically identified in the bill, two of which did not exist when the current trapping law was enacted in 1996. The third device being the Conibear® style trap currently used routinely throughout the Commonwealth via reactive 10-day health and safety permits. All three of these devices have been extensively tested both within the United States and internationally, meeting rigorous ISO standards where the welfare of that animal is of the highest priority. A high degree of regulation of these devices by both our DHS and DFW ensures that animal welfare remains a top priority, while safety to people, our children, pets and livestock are held to the highest standard as well.

The existing reactive law, where lethal trapping is granted only after a problem is identified, has created more wildlife conflicts across the state, sustained higher beaver populations and ironically kills more beavers annually now than prior to the change is the law 18 years ago. HB 750 shifts our wildlife population “management” strategy from a purely reactive system to one that proactively monitors, anticipates, and adjusts to minimize future potential issues before they occur. It also provides the critical tools needed to effectively and quickly react, if need be to serious health and safety problems as a situation unfolds.

HB 750 An act conserving our natural resources is a reasonable modification to the trapping law that balances the essential needs of wildlife with the needs of our own population where we can coexist in a positive way, with animal welfare considered as a top priority. This requires us to actively participate in a reasonable, responsible way using laws and regulations that make sense. Please join me in support of this important wildlife management legislation.


Herb Bergquist – Committee for Responsible Wildlife Management President

Get Involved! Join us on December 10th at the next MA COLAP Board of Directors Meeting. Click here for more information

Please join the MA COLAP Board of Directors at the next meeting on December 10th 2013 at 6:30 PM.   The meeting will be held at the Beals and Thomas office located at 144 Turnpike Road in Southborough MA 01772 (see below for directions).   We look forward to seeing you there!




From Mass Pike (I-90): Take Exit 12 to Rt. 9 West. Follow Rt. 9 for approximately 2.3 miles to the third traffic light (intersection of White Bagley Road). Reverse direction via U-turn onto Rt. 9 East. Reservoir Corporate Center is the second building on the right.


From I-495: Take Exit 23A to Rt. 9 East. Follow Rt. 9 for approximately 2.2 miles to the second traffic light (intersection of Breakneck Hill Road). Go through the light, and the Reservoir Corporate Center is the second building on the right.


Visitor parking is located at the front of the building.  Beals + Thomas is located on the second floor, at the east (left) end of the building.

Getting Connected

MA COLAP provides excellent opportunities to share information and experiences.  We encourage our members to stay connected with each other year-round.  If you would like to get connected with MA COLAP please consider coming to our Annual Winter Workshop, stopping by one of our Board Meetings,  or attending an event sponsored by one of our Lake and Pond Association members.  Members, please send an email to and request to be added to our mailing list so we can stay connected with you.

Would you like to see your Lake or Pond Associations events featured on the MA COLAP calendar? We would too! If your association creates a google calendar, we can have your events automatically uploaded to our calendar and let everyone in MA COLAP know what is going on at your lake!


Annual Winter Workshop

The MA COLAP Annual Winter Workshop will be on January 25, 2014. This is a great place to learn about lake and pond management and stewardship.  It is a wonderful opportunity to meet with other lake and pond enthusiasts, like yourself, to discuss current challenges and past successes.
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PO Box 873
West Brookfield, MA 01585