Group Title: Olasee Davis articles
Title: What next before the east end becomes a concrete jungle?
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300919/00248
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Title: What next before the east end becomes a concrete jungle?
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Davis, Olasee
Publication Date: October 7, 1999
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Bibliographic ID: CA01300919
Volume ID: VID00248
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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Thursday. October 7, 1999. The Daily News


Opinion


What next before the east end


becomes a con


Olascc Davis, an ecologist. lives
on St. Croix. He is a contributing
columnist to The Daily News.
Thousands of people, locals and
visitors alike, will flock to Point
Udall to see the first sunrise of the
new millennium on American soil.
It is the easternmost point of the
United States.
There are plans of building a
Millennium Monument there, clearing
15 acres of land near Cramer's Park
for vehicles, releasing doves, blowing
conch shells, and the list goes on.
Since many people are gearing up
for the millennium celebration, how
many of us know the history of the
Point Udall area and why the local
government ended up with approxi-
mately 340 acres, almost 50 percent of
the east end peninsula. Te land was
donated to the Virgin Ilaands govern-
ment for use as a territorial park sys-
ten by Fairicigh Dickinson Jr.
When a survey revealed that an
estate boundary was offby almost 100
acres, the Virgin Islands government
and Dickinson agreed to divide the
area in question. The government got
the northern half with deed restric-
tions to recreational and conservation
uses The southern half, which includ-
ed much of Isaac Bay, went to
Dickinson. with a note in the deed that
"nothing in this deed shall be in dero.
nation of the V.I. Open Shorelines Act
or the right to the public.
From Point Udall, the Goat Hills
rise to Sugar Hill, 672 feet high. and
form a central ridge from the point
to the lower neck between Knight
Bay and Grapetree Bay. The hills
are dry. covered with thorn scrub
and cactus, except where fire has
burned off the brush and grass has
grown in its place. In guts and where
the slopes are protected from the
wind dry forest can be found.
On the north side, Cotton Garden
Bay's long sandy beach, protected by
the end of the northern barrier reefsys-
temn. has been developed by the local


government as Cra
Cotton Garden P
includes a complex
and coral reefs. s
sand A long beach
becomes a wall o
Point Udall. Around
white sand of East
the southeast, foll
indentation of Isa
around Isaac Point
Bay.
Hughes Point,
this wilderness o
Grapetrce Bay hote
west. Within the
the only man-made
recently paved road
new National R
Observatory, a f
Cramer's Park. an
and new roadways,
and an old airstrip i
The cast end
unique because th
been relatively ina
has been less di
explored than the
It is this part oft
George Seaman sp
book Ay Ay of how
is. especially during
Endangered specie
known to nest on m
in thearea. During
several endangered
can be seen near th
and Isaac Bay. Igua
agouti, possibly the
lizard, endemic sr
inhabit this dry shru
There are four


crete jungle?
communities of the east end area of
St. Croix. They are the mature thorn
woodland and scrub community,
Olasee including the rock pavement dwarf
D jvis cactus scrub, the upland dry forest
community of the guts and leeward
slopes, the beach community.
including the littoral dry forest and
thickets, the beach berm vegetation
of the saltwater wetland, and any
mer'sPark. East of periodically flooded areas near
oint. Boiler Buy beach, and the marine community.
ecosystem of algal Thus, some of the best examples
gross, rocks and of each of these communities on St.
with fringmi reef Croix are found here on the cast end
f Plifs leading to area due primarily to the minimal
d Point Udall, the disturbance and the extreme salt,
d Bay opens to wind, and low-rainfall environment.
owed by the long would hate to see this unspoiled
me Bay and then.
the beach of Jac prt of St Croix become other than
what it was intended to be a terri-
toral park.
200 feet high, cut Don't get me wrong, nothing is
f from the old wrong in the celebration of the year
I and houses to the 2000 at Point Udall. However. this
a end pemla, govrumCnthas atendencytodowhat
structures are the it pleases without doing ts research.
to Point Udall. the whether it is appropriate to do this or
radio Astronomy that. The east end of St. Croix, fiom
ew structures at the north side of Cramer's Park to the
d the scars of old south side of Cramer's Park to Point
some illegally cut Udall, is within the Areas of Particular
n Jack Bay. Concern boundaries. This means the
of St. Croix is area is under special management pro
rough time it has tection plan.
accessible and thus The east end APC is considered to
sturbed and less be the largest open area left on St
rest of the island. Croix. One can drive to the Point Udall
be island naturalist overlook, get out of the vehicle and,
)oke about in his except for the paved road to the east
beautiful the ar end, look around in a 360 panorama
g the spring rain. and not see a man-made structure.
s sea turtles are Because of this fact alone, preserva-
lost ofthe beaches tion of the area for recreation, educa-
the winter months, tional activities, and scientific study
d species whales was one of the major seasons to protect
e coral reefof Jack the area.
aa, White tail deer, Now. we decided to build a
St. Croix ground Millennium Monument at the east
Lakes, and plants end of the island. What next, may I
land ofSt. Cmix. ask, before the cast end becomes
main biological another concrete jungle?




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