BOSTON — With Gov. Charlie Baker's plan to return the state to some semblance of normal life out in full view, the state's top fish and game official said his department received nearly all of what he asked for in the first phase of reopening.
Fish and Game Commissioner Ronald Amidon said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Baker asked him to participate in an outdoor recreation hunting and fishing working group for reopening the state. He said services and activities such as fishing, trapping, and outdoor shooting ranges were some of things on his mind when thinking about reopening.
"Yesterday, we got almost, I would say 95 percent of everything we asked for in phase one, with a lot of limited restrictions, but moving forward we'll continue to work with the lieutenant governor on reopening the state for phase two, three, and four," he said at a Fisheries and Wildlife Board meeting on Tuesday.
In phase one of Baker's plan, dubbed "Start," outdoor adventure activities, and most fishing, hunting, and boating can open on May 25 with restrictions and guidelines.
Campgrounds will have to wait until the state enters phase two, also known as "Cautious," to begin operations.
While some indicators for the reopening process are trending in the right direction, state government officials can revert to a previous stage if the COVID-19 situation worsens.
MassWildlife Director Mark Tisa said his department is planning to operate remotely for the next six to eight months, a fact most businesses and government entities have had to face as COVID-19 rapidly shut down offices.
"It's likely that we're going to be dealing with the coronavirus certainly through now, most likely through the winter and into early next spring," he said at the start of the meeting. "We continue to make plans for, like I said, limited re-entry at some point, what technology upgrades we may need to continue to operate remotely."