InFocus: Timber rattlesnake colony at the Quabbin Reservoir

Find out more details on the Mt. Zion Timber Rattlesnake colony initiative.

CHICOPEE- Mass. (WWLP - Earlier this year it became public that the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife was planning to create a colony of endangered Timber Rattlesnakes on Mount Zion Island in the Quabbin Reservoir. Since that announcement, residents living near the Quabbin have been vocal about their safety concerns as well as the state making this decision without their input.

The 22News I-Team has been working on this story for several months. We recently went out to the island where these snakes would live beginning next year. We discovered it's not an island at all, you could walk to it. We also went to Providence, Rhode Island where the baby snakes are bred.

This Sunday at noon on 22News InFocus, we'll be discussing this divisive project with people who live and work in our region who are involved with the protection of the Quabbin's ecosystem.

And on Tuesday, May 10, there will be a a legislative oversight hearing in Athol.  A number of experts are expected to attend including Dr. Tom French from the National Heritage Endangered Species program, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matt Beaton, and Fish and Game Commissioner George Peterson.  That meeting will be held at 11AM at Athol Town Hall and is open to the public. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

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