Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
|Manuel F. Correllus State Forest|
|Massachusetts State Forest|
|Towns||Edgartown, West Tisbury|
|Elevation||52 ft (16 m) |
|Area||5,215 acres (2,110 ha) |
|Management||Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation|
|Nearest city||Edgartown, Massachusetts|
|Website: Manuel F. Correllus State Forest|
Manuel F. Correllus State Forest is a Massachusetts state forest located on Martha's Vineyard. The forest borders Martha's Vineyard Airport on three sides and is chiefly in the towns of West Tisbury and Edgartown. The forest is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Situated in the center of Martha's Vineyard, the park is the focus of one of the largest environmental restoration projects in the country as the DCR is working to bring back the park's native ecosystem.
The park lies within the Atlantic coastal pine barrens ecoregion. Landscapes within the park include grasslands, heathlands, pine barrens, and woodlands. Oak and pine are the dominant trees within the park. Many rare species may also be located here.
Created in 1908 as the "Heath Hen Reserve", the original purpose of the reservation was to prevent the extinction of the heath hen, a type of grouse that lived in the pine barrens of New England. Unfortunately, by late 1938 the last heath hen had disappeared from the forest and the species was officially classified as extinct. The forest later took the name of the superintendent who ran it from 1948 to 1987
Despite widespread land clearing for farming and other purposes across Martha's Vineyard throughout its history, much of the area within Correllus State Forest did not suffer this fate. However, due to forest fires and other natural processes, the forest is not considered old-growth.
During World War II, Naval Auxiliary Air Facility Martha's Vineyard (operational today as Martha's Vineyard Airport) was established within the confines of the forest as part of a donation from the state to the United States Navy.
Frequent fires have been a problem in the Correllus State Forest. Between 1867 and 1929 there were sixteen fires of more than 1,000 acres (400 ha) each on Martha's Vineyard. In 2003, the DCR, in conjunction with the University of Massachusetts began evaluating methods for controlling fuel sources in the Pitch Pine and Scrub Oak areas. Methods included thinning of pitch pine stands, mowing of shrub understories, and grazing of regrowth by sheep. In 2008, about 110 acres (45 ha) of dead red pine were removed to reduce fuel loading and to restore pitch pine–scrub oak sand plain through USDA Forest Service funding.
Activities and amenities
The forest offers 14 miles (23 km) of trails for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, and cross-country-skiing. Restricted hunting is also available.
- "Martha's Vineyard State Forest". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "2012 Acreage Listing" (PDF). Department of Conservation and Recreation. April 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
- "Manuel F. Correllus State Forest". MassParks. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
- Dunlop, Tom (September 24, 2004). "State Forest Tapped for Massive Clearing". The Vineyard Gazette. Archived from the original on June 18, 2006. Retrieved 2009-10-26.
- "Massachusetts Naval Air Bases, Coast Guard Bases, Military & Auxiliary Air Fields 1923-1945". Massachusetts Aviation Historical Society. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
- "Manuel F. Correllus State Forest on Martha's Vineyard". Managing Fuels in Northeastern Barrens. University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Retrieved October 26, 2009.
- "Promoting Stewardship of Our Forests for a Safe and Healthy Environment, Economy, and Society" (PDF). 2008 Annual Stakeholder Report. Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Bureau of Forest Fire Control and Forestry. p. iii. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 10, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2009.