Press Releases

In effort to secure OSV access for Summer 2023, Trustees pulls area from Jetties to the Gut from current NOI Application

Edgartown  |  March 10, 2023

“The Trustees of the Reservations is committed to providing Martha’s Vineyard residents and visitors access to the beaches and historic trails we oversee on Chappy through our OSV permitting process. For almost 50 years, this process has allowed people and families to enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in the world while protecting the wildlife and ecology of this area.

TTOR has just notified the Edgartown Conversation Commission that TTOR is withdrawing the trails and beaches from the Jetties to the Gut from The Trustees’ pending application for continued public OSV access to the Chappy trails and beaches owned and/or managed by The Trustees. We believe this course of action will be the most expedient and sure way to provide access to MV residents and visitors, the fishing and birding community and all who have enjoyed these beautiful and special places for generations.

We are taking this action because it appears inevitable to us that one or more of the homeowners on Cape Pogue would appeal an Order of Conditions, if granted, for continued use of the OSV trails, so long as that Order of Conditions permits use north of the Jetties. We originally applied for a single Order of Conditions that would cover all Chappy beaches because that is what the Conservation Commission had approved in the past, it is in fact one network of OSV trails, and the resource areas are subject to the same regulatory requirements and management practices.  But an appeal of a unified Order of Conditions would make us unable to issue permits for any of the beaches until it is resolved, and so we are withdrawing the area beyond the Jetties.

While we regret not being able to issue OSV permits for the Cape Pogue beaches, taking this approach will ensure that we can at least issue OSV permits for Leland to the Town Jetties for this season, if the Conservation Commission approves our current application. As for the Cape Pogue beaches, we have listened – and will continue to listen – to the concerns of the residents who abut them.  But we also are committed to preserving the public’s access to these beaches in a manner consistent with the mission given by the Legislature to The Trustees to preserve places of great beauty for all to enjoy, not just a few private interests. We are confident that a solution can be found on Cape Pogue, so long as all parties are working in good faith.”

– Darci Schofield, Islands Portfolio Director