The State is revising its classification of various public lands. They are being labeled as Reserves, Parkland, or Woodland.
Hawksnest has been designated as Woodland, so it could be logged.
The State has been aggressively logging in other State Parks. At one park, where a family gave land to the State as at Hawksnest, the donors found their gift had been logged! The scrubby trees at Hawksnest are unlikely to be cut for timber.... but keeping this low designation will just encourage more neglect of Hawksnest. Low status might encourage other kinds of abuse besides logging.
We believe the best designation for Hawksnest is "Reserve." This would essentially keep Hawksnest as it is, and manage it for biodiversity. Under the "Parkland" designation, Hawksnest could be managed like Nickerson State Park, with campgrounds, large paved parking lots, and developed beaches.
Please request a change in designation for Hawksnest from Woodland to Reserve--the deadline for comment is August 26.
Email your comments here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some reasons Hawksnest deserves "Reserve" designation:
- Hawksnest has two endangered species (two species of damselflies)
- Hawksnest shoreline is home to the Plymouth gentian, a plant of Special Concern.
- Hawksnest is habitat for the box turtle, a species of Special Concern.
- Hawksnest has the best water quality of any pond in Harwich. Management for logging doesn't recognize the pond's central value to the park.
- Hawksnest has historic value--old homesites, and historic old roads like Halls Path.
- As a successor to Walden Pond, Hawksnest has spiritual values that would only be recognized under "Reserve" listing.
- Hawksnest is a "drinking water supply area" for the Town of Harwich.
Find out more at these links
Land designation process
Selection Criteria and Management Guidelines (see p.7 for definitions of "Woodland," etc.
Friends Network page on the issue (scroll down to Alerts)