Supreme Court Tests Whether Conservation Land Can be Taxed
In Massachusetts, land used by a charitable organization qualifies for a tax exemption under state law. But a recent case in the town of Hawley, now going before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, could have wide implications.
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Sheriff's Meadow Conserves Smalley Property on Moshup Trail

The foundation bought the 1.7-acre property on Nov. 19 for $35,416, a press statement said. The seller was the family of Josephine Smalley Vanderhoop. The purchase will help conserve rare habitat, Sheriff's Meadow said.

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To Protect and Educate Nature's Way
Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation is the local land trust for the Island of Martha’s Vineyard. Our mission is to conserve the natural, beautiful, rural landscape and character of Martha’s Vineyard for present and future generations. We are governed by a board of directors which represents the year-round and seasonal communities of the Island. We own 2,000 acres of conservation land across the Island, including land in each of the six Island towns. We protect another 850 acres of land with conservation restrictions.
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Conservation Groups to Screen Documentary On Aldo Leopold
Take a look at a Vineyard book shelf and you’re likely to find The History of Martha’s Vineyard by Charles Banks or Moraine to Marsh by Anne Hale. For conservationists, Aldo Leopold’s book A Sand County Almanac published in 1949 is equally iconic. “I think anybody can be inspired by what he wrote,” Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation director Adam Moore said this week. “It’s one of the key pieces of literature in our environmental history in this country.”
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New Effort Aims to Restore Once Prevalent Atlantic White Cedars
Tucked among the red cedars, black oaks and white oaks at Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary stand six Atlantic white cedars, barely two feet tall.

Last year Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation planted 12 of these cedars at the sanctuary as part of a restoration project; the tree is said to be native to the Vineyard, according to executive director Adam Moore.

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Adding Seven Thousand Homes: State Predicts Buildout Rate Here

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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In the Reeds: Venture to Kill Invasive Plants Proceeds Warily

Walking along the shore of Black Point Pond in Chilmark, Richard Johnson of Sheriff's Meadow Foundation is nearly dwarfed by a thick stand of 12-foot high reeds.

Also called phragmites, the reeds are an invasive species that have formed a dense monoculture over what was once an open diverse habitat of native pondshore plants. Dead reeds crunch beneath his boots, covering the ground so virtually nothing else can grow through.

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Birds and Bees: Species Count Is First of Kind Event on Island

Visitors to the Cedar Tree Neck sanctuary might see a brilliant blue starflower, a state-listed box turtle, or a chestnut-sided warbler. If they are very lucky, they could spot a rhinoceros beetle, which is rarely still found on the mainland and with its characteristic horns can lift objects up to 850 times its own weight, making it one of the strongest animals on the planet.

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Henry Beetle Hough Was Lighthouse Champion

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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Sheriff’s Meadow Celebrates 50th Anniversary

From little things, big things grow.

A little over 50 years ago, Henry Beetle Hough became concerned that a little parcel of land in Edgartown, where he and his wife Elizabeth liked to walk, might fall prey to land developers.

Mr. Hough, then owner and editor of this paper and an author, used the money earned from sales of one of his books, Once More the Thunderer, to buy the 10 acres which had been known for at least the previous century as Sheriff’s Meadow.

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