For Conservation Commission, a Tangled Issue in Pond Docks
MANDY LOCKE

For Conservation Commission, a Tangled Issue in Pond Docks

By MANDY LOCKE

The West Tisbury conservation commission must now act as judge and jury for a key town leader - sorting through selectman Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter's request to permit four docks in Tisbury Great Pond that he has been using for years.

The verdict must come down within three weeks, and the conservation commission - a board appointed by selectmen - isn't quite sure how to sort through the mess.

Here's what they know:

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Airport Clears Habitat Land
James Kinsella

Airport Clears Habitat Land

Mitigation Plan Saves Rare Plants Alongside Purple Tiger Beetles; Sandy Pathways Are Created Across West Tisbury Road

By James Kinsella
Gazette Senior Writer

Consider the outlook of a purple tiger beetle living at the Martha's Vineyard Airport.

For the beetle, life has been good. The climate is agreeable. Its ancestors have made their home there for generations. Best of all, there's been a nice sandy path where the beetle, a carnivorous sort, can more easily spot its meals moving along.

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Conservation Gift of Quansoo Farm Goes to Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation
Julia Wells

A longstanding and unprecedented gift of 156 acres at Quansoo Farm in Chilmark from the late Florence (Flipper) Harris to the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation is now complete, leaders at the foundation announced this week.

Donated to Sheriff’s Meadow by Mrs. Harris over a period of years beginning more than a quarter century ago, the Quansoo Farm gift is the second largest land bequest in the history of Sheriff’s Meadow.

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Aquinnah May Work With Tribe, Chilmark to Help Manage Pond
Jack Shea

Approval of a mussel farm permit this week may lead to a collegial effort to clean up Menemsha Pond.

In the process of approving Hollis Smith’s aquaculture permit request, conversation expanded to disclose informal discussions between Chilmark and Aquinnah town officials and Wampanoag tribal members to work together to clean the pond.

Menemsha Pond waters lie in both Chilmark and Aquinnah and have been separately maintained by each town historically. The pond has not been dredged since 1971 and “has been dying for 20 years,” Mr. Smith said.

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Let Them Eat Cake at Long Point as Trustees Celebrate 100th Site

On Sept. 30 The Trustees of Reservations announced a significant milestone: the opening of its 100th reservation, Cormier Woods in Uxbridge. The opening celebration at the new reservation will take place on Oct. 18.

As well as a special celebration planned at Cormier Woods, including a ribbon cutting, ranger-led walks and live folk music, The Trustees will mark the 100th reservation with local celebrations around the state throughout the month of October.

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Edey Foundation Award Conservation Grants

At its annual meeting last month, the Edey Foundation awarded $82,250 in grants for 2008 to organizations working for conservation on the Vineyard.

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Island Land Bank Grows Sepiessa Point Holdings

The purchase of an 18.9-acre conservation restriction last week will expand the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank’s holdings at Sepiessa Point Reservation on the Tisbury Great Pond.

The land bank commission announced that it paid $654,500 for the restriction. The seller is Elizabeth Brown Bayer.

The property includes 2,180 feet of frontage on Tiah’s Cove, and is surrounded by the land bank’s 164-acre Sepiessa Point Reservation. Development on the property will be limited to a single building envelope around an existing home.

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Sustainable Fisheries
Two top fisheries research scientists from South America will deliver a talk on sustainability in small-scale fisheries at the Chilmark Public Library this coming Monday, Oct. 12 at 3 p.m. Ana M. Parma and Jose Orensanz are research scientists working with the Argentine Council for Science and Technology and have both been chosen to participate in the prestigious Pew Fellows in Marine Conservation program.
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Henry Beetle Hough Was Lighthouse Champion
Don Shanor

Whether or not the con troversy over tearing down Henry Beetle Hough’s historic house is resolved, there is still a need for the Island to honor the memory of this conservation activist in a way commensurate with his role in preserving our lands, beaches and monuments. Adding his name to the official designation of the Edgartown Lighthouse, perhaps calling it the Henry Beetle Hough Memorial, would accomplish this. Without Henry Hough, there would be no Edgartown light, and generations would be unaware of the beauty and history we now all enjoy.

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Shattered Peace on North Road
Sam Bungey

A series of wetlands violations in the town of Chilmark underpin drama which is the stuff of a daytime soap opera, complete with tangled relationships, trespassing orders and bitter class divisions.

A fiery public hearing at a recent meeting of the Chilmark conservation commission revealed more than one layer of problems at the Aerie, a mixed neighborhood of seasonal and year-round residents off North Road which has seen turmoil over prolonged construction projects and multiple environmental abuses.

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