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

For Conservation Commission, a Tangled Issue in Pond Docks


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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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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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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Island Conservation Movement Takes Stock
Mike Seccombe

The dire forecast for the future of the Vineyard environment, signed onto by the Island's major conservation groups 10 years ago this week, was wrong. Dramatically, happily wrong.

Among other things, the 1997 white paper predicted the Vineyard would be built out within eight years, and that only a little over 25 per cent of Island land would be protected by 2005. History has proven these figures to be way off the mark.

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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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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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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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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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