Topics: Monomoy Refuge CCP

CHATHAM – With federal legislation to resolve the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge western boundary dispute between the town and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stalled, town officials are exploring another tack, a possible administrative solution to the dilemma. Exactly what form such an approach would take remains vague, but officials reported that they had a “promising” meeting in Washington, D.C. last w...

Selectmen: Monomoy Refuge Letters A 'Slap In The Face'

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — From the town’s perspective, the latest volleys in the Monomoy refuge boundary dispute have added insult to injury, selectmen said Monday. On Jan. 5, federal officials replied to a letter the town sent to U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke more than half a year earlier, asking him to intervene in the town’s dispute with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The reply didn’t come from Zinke or from an...

CHATHAM — Gov. Charlie Baker last week received some tangible evidence that many local residents and visitors oppose the federal taking of more than 3,000 acres of state-owned tidal flats and submerged lands west of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Baker's office received a petition with 1,013 signatures urging him to actively support H.R. 1157, a bill introduced by Congressman William Keating, D–9 th ...

CHATHAM — In a step that is unusual, if not unprecedented, the town of Chatham has initiated a petition asking Gov. Charlie Baker's support for federal legislation that would restore the western boundary of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge to its traditional area. Typically neutral in political disputes, the town is asking residents and visitors to sign petition forms at various town buildings, at Cape Fis...

Town Seeks Public Support In Refuge Dispute

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — In a statement released Tuesday, town officials asked the public to send letters to Gov. Charlie Baker and to key lawmakers expressing support for a bill that would negate the proposed expansion of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge boundary. “With the recent change in make-up of the board of selectmen, the board's subcommittee managing the town's campaign is Selectman Jeffrey Dykens and Selectma...

AG To Sue Feds Over Monomoy Refuge Claim

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – The battle for jurisdiction over the waters west of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge may be headed to court. Attorney General Maura Healey announced Tuesday that she has notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of her office's intention to file a lawsuit against the federal government to confirm state ownership of more than 4,000 acres of water and submerged land in Nantucket Sound west of the...

CHATHAM – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe issued a statement Wednesday saying he was disappointed that the town is seeking federal legislation to resolve the dispute over the western boundary of the Monomoy Wildlife Refuge. The Fish and Wildlife Service worked “tirelessly” with the town to develop the comprehensive conservation plan for the refuge, he said, resolving significant differences th...

Monomoy Boundary Bill Filed

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – A bill clarifying the town and state's right to manage the resources in the submerged lands west of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge was expected to be filed Tuesday by Congressman William Keating. The bill that was filed differs from previous draft bills, which sought to specifically set the western boundary of the refuge at mean low water to make it clear that the town and state are responsible...

Town, USFW Reps Meet On Monomoy Western Boundary

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Town officials met last week with representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in ongoing talks to work out a solution to the dispute over the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge's western boundary. The agency has proposed that the two parties enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) calling for joint management of some of the resources within the western boundary area, which enc...

CHATHAM – Town officials and representatives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are scheduled to meet today to discuss a proposed memorandum of understanding regarding the western boundary of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. There may be some give on the part of the federal agency in the latest draft of the memorandum of understanding (MOU). Scott Kahan, regional chief of the National Wildlife Refuge S...

CHATHAM – Before moving any further with a proposed agreement, Chatham officials want assurances that both the town and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will have equal responsibility for management of the waters west of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Language in a draft memorandum of understanding proposed by the Fish and Wildlife Service commits both parties to working “cooperatively” to protect the res...

CHATHAM – Town officials are willing to talk with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to try to resolve the dispute over the western boundary of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, but only if both parties have an equal voice management of the area. However, federal legislation may still be the ultimate avenue the town takes to resolve the issue. Representative William Keating said last week he will submit...

CHATHAM – Setting its western boundary at mean low water could cut the area of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge in half, a refuge official said, as well as remove existing protections for horseshoe crabs. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has “strong concerns” about any change in the western boundary, said Libby Herland, project manager at the Eastern Massachusetts Wildlife Complex, which includes the Mon...

CHATHAM – The fight over the Monomoy Wildlife Refuge's western boundary is headed to Congress. Rep. William Keating told town officials last week that he would file a bill to limit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's authority to Monomoy's low water line. If approved, the legislation would end a two-year-long dispute over jurisdiction over some 3,000 acres of Nantucket Sound open water and sea bottom west of ...

Keating To File Monomoy Legislation

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM -- Congressman William Keating told town officials Wednesday that he would file legislation to change the western boundary of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge to mean low water. Selectman Seth Taylor said he and Town Manager Jill Goldsmith met with Keating in his Washington, D.C. office and asked him to file the legislation to roll back what many feel is an overreach by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife S...

CHATHAM - Town officials traveled to the state house Monday to meet with Lt. Governor Karyn Polito in hopes of gaining support from the Baker administration for efforts to scale back the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's claims of jurisdiction over the waters west of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Officials said Polito understood their concerns and would convey the town's position to Gov. Charlie Baker....