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A recent complaint brought about a ban on hunting on the Ayer Conservation lands by the Ayer Conservation Commission. This is not the correct policy and after decades of hunting being allowed, must come as a surprise to the recreational hunter who is in fact a partner in the delicate management of the ecological balance of such lands. Without timber wolves or mountain lions, deer populations soar out of control in such areas so the responsible hunter plays a valuable role in keeping this population from destroying other important habitat and reducing the populations of the prime carrier of the deer tick which is the main host for Lyme disease.

The Mass. Audubon Association on their 400 acre preserve in neighboring Groton that abuts Conservation lands in Ayer have had to reassess their long held policy against hunting as reports from their own field personal document loss of habitat due to deer over population.

The commission should reconsider this band and instead hold educational seminars to instruct the general public about the importance of respecting hunting as governed by the regulations propagated by Mass. Fish and Game as part of responsible land management.

The Ayer Greenway Committee has talked of educating the general public about this issue and I do want to clarify that even though I am the Chair of the Ayer Greenway Committee I am speaking here as a private citizen, but one who knows the value of recreational hunting and that sharing our conservation resources is the best policy, especially when they benefit the responsible management of those resources.

PATRICK HUGHES

Ayer