SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law or regulation to the contrary, a special commission hereafter referred to as the commission, is hereby established for the purpose of investigating the environmental, public health, safety, personal property rights and financial impacts of beaver dams and their effect on ponds, streams, rivers and their surrounding areas.
The commission shall be chaired by the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, or his designee, and shall consist of thirteen members:
2 of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the house; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the house minority leader; 2 of whom shall be appointed by the senate president; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the senate minority leader; the Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game, or his designee; the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health, or his designee; the president of Mass Audubon, or his designee; and 3 of whom shall be subject matter experts appointed by the Governor.
The commission shall determine the best means to assess the impact of the beaver population on the Commonwealth, including but not limited to surveying cities and towns for local impact, reviewing data already available at the state and local levels, conducting hearings and inviting testimony from experts and the public, and other means as deemed necessary by the commission.
Members of the commission shall be named and the commission shall commence its work within 60 days of the effective date of this act. The commission shall report to the general court the results of its investigation and study, and recommendations, if any, together with drafts of legislation necessary to implement its recommendations into effect by filing the same with the clerks of the senate and the house of representatives on or before January 1, 2016. The clerks of the house and senate shall make the reports available to the public through the internet.
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