NO MAN’S LAND — Three miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, this island of dense brush, rocky beaches, and squawking birdlife is aptly named. No one has lived here for nearly 60 years, and the public is banned from its 628 acres.
Now, after spending $100,000 on a 15-year plan for No Man’s Land, federal officials want it to stay that way.
The Fish & Wildlife Service has recommended that No Man’s Land be protected as federal wilderness, meaning that if the public wants a glimpse of this National Wildlife Refuge, options could be limited to a virtual tour on the Web or a magnifying scope on the Vineyard.
The island, used as an aerial bombing range from 1943 to 1996, is pocked with unexploded munitions that make one of Southern New England’s last wild places a potentially deadly hazard.
“I think it’s important to have a few places that are completely prohibited from the public,’’ said Stephanie Koch, a US Fish & Wildlife Service biologist, who walked the beach at No Man’s Land recently in search of a piping plover nest. “I know that’s a hard sell for a lot of people.’’