Rattlesnake Island plan wins support from advisory panel

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2016/05/24/rattlesnake-island-plan-wins-support-from-advisory-panel/

BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (AP) – A citizens’ advisory board that makes recommendations to Massachusetts officials has voted in favor of establishing a timber rattlesnake colony on an uninhabited island in the Quabbin Reservoir.

The Recorder reports that the 11-member Quabbin Watershed Advisory Committee on Monday voted 5-2 in favor of the plan, with several abstentions.

Representatives of several sporting, recreational and environmental organizations sit on the committee. Its job is to advise the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Division of Water Supply Protection.

The state wants to establish the venomous snake colony on Mount Zion island, which is off-limits to humans but is connected to the mainland by a causeway.

Opponents of the plan fear the endangered snakes will get off the island and endanger people and pets. The snakes are native to Massachusetts, but their numbers have declined.

State officials and plan supporters say fears of the reclusive reptiles are unfounded.