Conservation on Cuttyhunk ‘a very big deal’

Change doesn’t come easy to this small island west of Martha’s Vineyard.

Things that are commonplace on the mainland, like cars, year-round restaurants, movie theaters and liquor stores are all absent on the westernmost outpost of the Elizabeth Islands, which stretch south from Woods Hole. Instead the 2½-mile-long island called Cuttyhunk boasts incredible scenery, choice surf and some of the region’s best fishing.

In “Cuttyhunk and the Elizabeth Islands,” published in 1993, Janet Bosworth wrote that, even then, people bemoaned the changes on Cuttyhunk over the prior 50 years.

May Diggs, the granddaughter of the island’s first postmaster, was brought up on Cuttyhunk and before she died in 1966, said she couldn’t go back “because it had changed so much from the lovely, serene, unspoiled place she remembered from her girlhood,” Bosworth wrote.

“We can only hope that it will be guarded and watched over wisely, so that coming generations will wish to preserve their island as they remember it,” the author, a founder of the island historical society, offered. “With perseverance and luck, perhaps they can.”

But for a place so focused on preservation and cherished for its natural beauty, there is little conservation land.

That may soon change.

Voluntary conservation restrictions, planned land purchases by the Buzzards Bay Coalition and land grants to the Massachusetts Audubon Society, could limit or stop development on about half of the bucolic island forever.

Full Story on Cape Cod Times
Category: On the Land

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