The proposal to create a protected habitat for timber rattlesnakes on an island in the Quabbin Reservoir is suspended, but still on the table. That's according to Joseph Larson, the chair of the Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife Board.
Larson said in a Thursday interview that the board's vote this week was based on a review committee's recommendation to instead examine all the rattlesnake populations from greater Boston to the Connecticut River Valley and the Berkshires.
"That's probably what we should have done in the first place," Larson said.
Larson said the board didn't anticipate the controversy and objections to the Quabbin plan from some local residents concerned about public safety.
"Had we been anticipating that, I think we would have come in with a comprehensive plan that said, 'Hey, look. This is the situation across the state. And looking at each of these, these are the recommendations that we would make'" he said,
Larson estimated the comprehensive plan should take about four months to complete. At the end of the that, snakes could still end up on an island in the Quabbin.