Mark Tisa deserving of DFW director job


Published: 7/20/2018 11:50:31 PM
Modified: 7/20/2018 11:50:45 PM

On July 17, 2018, the Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife Board unanimously voted to appoint Mark S. Tisa, Ph.D., M.B.A., to the position of director of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. The new director started his career in 1987 with MassWildlife as the project leader of the Anadromous Fish Restoration Program. He was promoted to assistant director of fisheries in 1990, and then to deputy director in 2015.

Tisa led a number of major initiatives over the years for the agency, including the Youth Pheasant and Young Adult Turkey Hunt programs and the construction of the MassWildlife Field Headquarters’ 45,000-square-foot, zero-net-energy building in Westborough. Upon the retirement of former Director Jack Buckley, he was appointed acting director effective May 1, 2018.

“I’m honored, humbled and thrilled to be appointed to lead MassWildlife, where I have worked for 31 years,” said Tisa. “We at MassWildlife care about all the Commonwealth’s wildlife and plants, including state-listed species, and I look forward to continuing to work with hunters, anglers, trappers, conservationists and all Massachusetts citizens to carry forward MassWildlife’s tradition of conserving and helping everyone to enjoy all our treasured wildlife resources.”

Tisa grew up in Leominster. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Springfield College, a master’s in fisheries from the University of Tennessee, a Ph.D. in fisheries and wildlife sciences from Virginia Tech, and an MBA from Anna Maria College. The director is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys fishing, hunting, shooting and retriever training.

This writer has known Mark Tisa since he joined the agency — he has known since he was a teenager that he wanted to be a wildlife professional. He listened carefully to those in the field, and he followed a rigorous educational path to prepare for a leadership role in the natural resource field. He has distinguished himself by his work, while rising through the ranks, and is universally respected. He clearly identified and stated the vision and goals he has for the division, and is clearly well-suited to lead MassWildlife forward in these challenging times.

Besides knowing him as a professional, I have come to see how much he enjoys outdoor pursuits, particularly bird hunting, and he trains his dogs with Pat Perry at Hedgerow Hunt Club in Royalston. Although he is currently “in between” golden retrievers, he will make selecting and training a puppy an item on his priority list, I am sure.

Regulatory change

A regulatory change to expand the archery season in the easternmost Massachusetts Deer Management Zones, voted by the Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife Board this past spring, has made it through the process of becoming part of the laws. The regulatory amendment will extend the archery deer hunting season by two weeks in eastern Massachusetts. In zones 10-14, the archery deer season will now open the eighth Monday prior to Thanksgiving. In zones 1-9, the archery deer season will remain the same, opening six weeks before Thanksgiving. The change will take effect beginning with this fall’s hunting seasons. The extension will increase hunting opportunities in a region where deer numbers are above the statewide management range of six to 18 deer per square mile.

Antlerless deer permits

Hopefully, everyone remembered to get their antlerless deer permit application completed by the July 16 deadline. The sale of surplus Antlerless Deer Permits by Wildlife Management Zone will be staggered over the following days in September: Zone 11 is Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 8 a.m.; Zone 10 is Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 8 a.m.; Zones 13 and 14 are Thursday, Sept. 27, at 8 a.m. (also Zone 9, if available). Surplus permits must be purchased within 15 minutes after being placed in your shopping cart. You may purchase only one Zone 11 and one Zone 10 permit per day; up to four permits per day may be purchased for Zones 13 and 14.

Quabbin controlleddeer hunt

Quabbin Controlled Deer Hunt is annually conducted on Quabbin Reservoir watershed lands, implemented as part of the management program to maintain a balance between deer herd densities and forest regeneration. Participants are selected from an applicant pool in a special lottery in early September.

Since 2016, all applications must be submitted online; the application must be filled out and submitted from the DCR Deer Hunt web page between July 1 and Aug. 31. No paper applications will be accepted this year, although hunters can get assistance completing applications online at the Quabbin Visitor Center on Saturdays (9 a.m. to noon) and Wednesdays (noon to 3 p.m.) during the application period. Once selected, all successful applicants will receive written notification by early October.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Quabbin Reservoir Visitor Center, Department of Conservation & Recreation, 485 Ware Road, Belchertown, MA 01007 or call 413-323-7221.

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