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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Planning Vision: MVC Counts Three Decades of Unique Act
Julia Wells

The early framers were the Thomas Jeffersons of the Vineyard - visionaries and idealists ahead of their time. They looked down the road, saw trouble and took action, with an eye toward a regional solution.

The result was the Martha's Vineyard Commission, a regulatory commission considered unique in American government, both then and now.

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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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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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On Chappaquiddick, Richard S. Knight Jr. Sees Hard Work, No Easy Choices
Ian Fein

As a general contractor based on Chappaquiddick, Richard S. Knight Jr. recognizes that the Vineyard will inevitably reach a point where all the land is accounted for and there is no more room to build.

"We're an Island, and there's only a finite amount of land left, so eventually we'll hit buildout," Mr. Knight said. "Sooner or later, it's going to come. And I think we're coming down to the end of it."

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