The price of a fence


To the Editor:

I consider myself to be an environmentalist, but am disheartened by the Land Bank’s fence on Trade Wind Fields Preserve. I’m a homeowner who proudly supported the Land Bank’s mission when we sold our first house, and a dog owner who previously walked the perimeter paths, thinking that I was complying with Land Bank rules.

The dog community may have abused its privileges, but has increasingly complied with the Land Bank’s directives. Among the four species identified for protection, the Land Bank cited 25 purple needlegrass plants, down from 100, in the latest survey. Attributing the recent decline of that species in the 72-acre parcel to today’s level of dog use is hard to comprehend. In our recent circumnavigation of the fields along the paths, depending upon time of day, we might see a group in a cluster at the trailhead, but fewer than a dozen walkers around the two-plus miles of paths, which cover a very small portion of the parcel.

Seeing the fence glaring at County Road, I’m forced to conclude that the Land Bank has arrogantly abused its power, and has been unable to manage their mandate either by balancing their own priorities or creatively collaborating. A vote of no confidence.

Every time I drive down County Road, I will see that fence and question the Land Bank and its leadership.

Susan Hobart
Oak Bluffs


  1. You said it. The purple needlegrass count is down. It’s a nature preserve, the Land Bank is doing their job.

  2. If the land bank owns a property, and they do nothing when they observe a 75% reduction in a species of grass, they would not be doing their job. Susan– do you have any other theory as to why such a drastic reduction in needlegrass has occurred ?

  3. @Susan: As I understand responsibilities of the Land Bank, they are tasked with preserving and protecting the native flora and fauna of the Island. Either question: why do you think they are not or why do you think they should not? Better, both questions.

  4. Readers wishing to learn the land bank’s history on this matter are encouraged to go to the land bank website and read, under the heading IN THE NEWS, the minutes of the land bank’s discussions on this subject.

    • Why don’t people simply use parks and beaches? Towns maintain those so people can meet friends outside and chat, enjoy the weather. What don’t taxpayers like about public beaches and parks?

    • That is the question. The fence has become for many symbolic of a tyranny of our own making. The price may yet be determined.

  5. WHOOHOO If Martha’s Vineyard is lucky maybe next they will post the entire Minutes of each meeting and then, maybe even the Agendas!

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