Adding Seven Thousand Homes: State Predicts Buildout Rate Here
Mandy Locke

The Vineyard could see as many as 7,032 more homes on its 17,475 remaining acres of developable land, officials from the state Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) said at an Island forum held Thursday night.

"That's a relatively short time frame to be faced with some tough choices," said Christian Jacqz, director of Massachusetts Geographic Information System, in a presentation to Island officials at the Howes House in West Tisbury.

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Years of Talks Pay Off in 62-Acre Conservation Gift Along Middle Road
Julia Wells

Years of Talks Pay Off in 62-Acre Conservation Gift Along Middle Road

By JULIA WELLS

A wide swath of rolling farmland and wooded hillside that includes a high ridge perched above the scenic Middle Road in Chilmark and West Tisbury will remain forever wild, thanks to an unusual conservation gift from Virginia Crowell Jones and Everett Noteman Jones to The Nature Conservancy and the Vineyard Conservation Society, the Gazette has learned.

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Record Herring Creek Farm Sale Investigated by Senate Committee
Julia Wells

An investigation by the Committee on Finance for the United States Senate has thrust The Nature Conservancy and its conservation buyer program under a spotlight, and along with it the record $64 million sale of the Herring Creek Farm in Edgartown.

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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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Effort Seeks to Revive Sandplain Flora
Mike Seccombe

Ever since cultivation began on the Vineyard, farmers have tried to enrich the nutrient-poor soils of the Island's sandplain grassland. Now scientists are beginning a five-year experiment on the Island trying to achieve the exact opposite.

At a cost of some $700,000, The Nature Conservancy and Marine Biological Laboratory will try various ways of de-enriching the soil on 70 acres of sandplain at Katama, with an eye toward reestablishing the grassland ecosystem which formerly existed there.

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Stiltgrass Be Walking All Over the Place

Japanese stiltgrass has recently been discovered in the Longview neighborhood of West Tisbury, and the Nature Conservancy needs Islanders’ help in keeping this invasive species under control.

The harmful grass, which was introduced to the U.S. from Asia as a natural packaging material at the beginning of the 19th century, can crowd out native wildflowers, grasses and tree seedlings.

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Forest Fire Management Includes Controlled Burns

State foresters and Nature Conservancy fire ecology experts will draft a fire management plan for Manuel Correllus State Forest on Martha’s Vineyard, to guide ongoing fire work, thanks to recent funding from the U.S. Forest Service.

The $374,000 also will cover the partnership to restore 925 acres in Massachusetts with prescribed fire over the next year, to manage ecosystems and improve public safety.

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Island Conservation Leaders Look to Future
Julia Wells

The place names are familiar and unchanging: Wasque, Cape Pogue and Long Point, Herring Creek Farm, Cedar Tree Neck and Fulling Mill Brook, Waskosim’s Rock and Pecoy Point, to name a few.

But the people who admire, use and could potentially contribute to the thousands of acres of land in conservation on the Vineyard have changed, and Island conservation leaders say this is what frames their biggest challenge today.

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