Strock Family Gifts Lagoon Beachfront to Land Bank
Julia Wells
The 1,000-foot crescent of sand that lies south of the Lagoon Pond Bridge came as an early Christmas present for the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank, where outright gifts of land are rare.
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Eating the Way to Conservation
Remy Tumin

Imagine sheep grazing at Wasque Point on Chappaquiddick, or goats and cattle browsing the greenery at Long Point Wildlife Refuge.

It’s not a long shot if farmers and conservation groups can manage land together, says David R. Foster, an ecologist and director of the Harvard Forest.

“This is a fabulous time for agriculture and there’s a wonderful opportunity for agriculture, land owners and conservationists to come together in a way that they haven’t previously,” Mr. Foster said in an interview at his home this week.

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Woods Preserve Remains Wild
Julia Wells

The family of the late Edwin Newhall (Bob) Woods has gifted 500 acres of rare and unspoiled oak forest, freshwater wetlands and frost bottom in West Tisbury and Chilmark to The Nature Conservancy, the conservancy announced early this week. The gift creates permanent protection for the heart of one of the most significant natural areas on the Vineyard.

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Inviting Nature Into Your Own Backyard
Katie Ruppel

Residential developments, historically perceived as a threat to wildlife habitats, are taking on a positive role through a new Nature Conservancy program called the Vineyard Habitat Network.

Residences that can actually foster healthy habitats? It’s not only possible, it’s being done already, habitat officials say.

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Vineyard, Nantucket Teach, Learn Conservation Lessons
Katie Ruppel

After coming from Nantucket to the Vineyard on Wednesday, Cormac Collier first noticed the trees lining the roads that wind through Chilmark.

“We took a little tour on the western side of the Island, and the one thing I was most amazed about was . . . the forests that are here. We definitely have some similarities in terms of geological formations and vegetation, but the amount of mature forests that are here is pretty remarkable. It’s definitely nice to come here, because we don’t have forests like you,” he said.

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New State Forest Designation Protects Natural Habitat
Katie Ruppel

From a failed heath hen reservation to a red pine plantation gone wrong, the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest has weathered its share of management experiments.

In 2012, the forest’s plants and trees can breathe easy, as the forest recently has been designated as a state reserve by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

David Foster, Harvard University forest director and historian for the Correllus state forest, said the designation has guaranteed a better future of the forest.

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Lobster Fishery Confronts Major Crisis; Officials Plan Strict Conservation Limits
Mark Alan Lovewell
With the American lobster in short supply in Vineyard waters, the state and federal governments are in the early stages of considering new minimum sizes and catch limits. Hearings are planned for later this summer.
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Felix Neck, Land Bank and Audubon Buy Moffet Land to Preserve Sanctuary Borders
Julia Wells

Felix Neck, Land Bank and Audubon Buy Moffet Land to Preserve Sanctuary Borders

By JULIA WELLS
Gazette Senior Writer

In a three-way partnership that will protect the last key piece of undeveloped land at one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries on the Vineyard, the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank, the Massachusetts Audubon Society and the Felix Neck Wildlife Trust announced yesterday that they will buy 34 acres from Lucia Moffet for $2.55 million.

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Felix Neck Land Purchase Protects Eastern Flank of Nature Conservancy
Julia Wells

Felix Neck Land Purchase Protects Eastern Flank of Nature Sanctuary

By JULIA WELLS

The Martha's Vineyard Land Bank, the Felix Neck Wildlife Trust and the Massachusetts Audubon Society closed on a land purchase last week that will protect the last key piece of undeveloped land at Felix Neck.

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Vineyard Commissioners Approve Compromise for Southern Woodlands
Julia Wells

Amid conciliatory expressions and with the developer's representative waving a white hat in the air, the Martha's Vineyard Commission voted without dissent last night to approve a plan that is expected to close the final chapter in a bitter four-year battle over the development of the southern woodlands in Oak Bluffs.

"This has been a really trying time for the commission and for all those in the community that have been on both sides of the issue. I hope this is now time to put it behind us and heal the wounds," declared commission member Andrew Woodruff.

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