The Nature Conservancy conserves 100 acres in West Tisbury


The Nature Conservancy (TNC) this week announced the purchase of 100 acres of wooded sandplain in West Tisbury for permanent conservation.

“Opportunities for conservation projects this big don’t come along every day on the Vineyard,” said Matt Pelikan, a restoration ecologist based at The Nature Conservancy’s Vineyard Haven office.

Not only is the large undeveloped area important for habitat, it also sits low in the watershed of Tisbury Great Pond, so its conservation can play an important role in preserving water quality, TNC said in a press release.

The Conservancy was also particularly interested in rare ecological features known as “frost bottoms” — low-lying areas formed during the last glaciation with unusual microclimates that increase local biodiversity. Even at the height of summer, these pockets can contain morning frost.

The newly protected property borders The Trustees of Reservations’ 600-acre Long Point Wildlife Refuge and lies close to Manuel F. Correllus State Forest, creating one of the largest interconnected conservation corridors on the Vineyard.

The Conservancy has been working to protect this property for more than a decade, working through a complicated ownership history.

“This is a precious piece of the Island, featuring rare habitat and a strategic location,” Mr. Pelikan said. “It’s well worth the trouble.”