Top lawmaker cites lack of input on rattlesnake island plan

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BOSTON (AP) — A top Massachusetts lawmaker is citing a lack of transparency around the state's plan to create a refuge for venomous rattlesnakes on an uninhabited island.

Senate President Stan Rosenberg told Boston Herald Radio on Wednesday that wildlife officials made a "big mistake" and stirred fears by rolling out the plan too quickly and without enough public input.

The Amherst Democrat stopped short of saying he opposed the plan, which calls for establishing a colony of endangered timber rattlesnakes on Mount Zion island in the Quabbin Reservoir.

A legislative committee has scheduled a hearing for next month.

Some people who live near the reservoir worry the snakes could escape the island and attack people in the surrounding woods.

The state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife says such concerns are unfounded.

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