To the Editor:
I would like to respond to the TTOR letter [The Trustees look ahead to spring, March 27], recently published about the Cape Poge/Norton Point Wildlife areas being closed to oversand vehicles. My opinion is TTOR is simply closing all these areas because they do not want to staff it, manage it, or use resources to maintain it during the off-peak seasons. The TTOR letter from Barbara Erickson states over and over the TTOR concern for the “summer season” (seven times, in fact). The Vineyard season is all year long. It seems very clear that TTOR is only concerned about the summer season, when they are able to collect gate house fees, permit fees, fees for tours, and so on. As a longtime TTOR member and OSV permit holder, this is supposed to be a yearlong membership and OSV pass. If so, then why am I purchasing a full year permit? This is totally against their mission statement where they are promoting visitors to these areas.
Personally, I don’t have any issue with the costs of the OSV tags, as I purchase them both for the Cape Poge and Norton Point areas every year. I have no issue with paying hundreds of dollars for the permits as long as I get year-long access to enjoy all the areas that “should’ be open when conditions permit. Currently, the Cape Poge trail systems are in good shape and completely driveable with no safety concerns, yet they have been closed all winter long and are still closed to this day. I do as much as I can to support TTOR, make donations, do the beach cleanups, watch over the trails and so on. TTOR needs to do as much as they can on their end to open these areas.
The other issue is that TTOR is constantly sending out mailings where they are asking for donations, looking for donations for the annual appeal and so on. I usually donate to these and then check the box for the donation to be used out on Cape Poge/Norton Point. I think they need to be aware that members are not going to continue to support these donations and appeals if there is restricted or no access to enjoy these areas.
TTOR needs to have a balanced partnership with their members.