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Large pieces of land are coming up for development or preservation. Will they go the way of the Sea Camps?

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Town of Brewster
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The Cape Cod Sea Camps property in Brewster, at 120 acres, is one of the largest properties preserved on the Cape in years. And it’s not the only sizable piece of land whose fate could be decided in the near future.

Mark Robinson, executive director of the Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, tells CAI the run-up in property values from the pandemic is prompting the owners of some big pieces of land to think about selling.

“It behooves all of us to not just ignore these opportunities, but to but to seize them,” he said. “If we're going to direct and preserve the future of Cape Cod, we need to have these larger pieces available for public use.”

Brewster voters approved the $26 million purchase of the two Cape Cod Sea Camps parcels on Tuesday. One has frontage on Cape Cod Bay, the other on Long Pond.

Preservationists say protecting large parcels is important for wildlife habitat and movement, and for protecting the quality of the groundwater beneath.

Notable undeveloped properties include land on Scudder Avenue in Hyannis, where 312 apartments are proposed, and a group of woodlots in Harwich totaling about 70 acres, Robinson said.

He said some pieces of land are more important to protect than others, and size matters.

“Larger properties are more significant, primarily because of the ability to provide a width and breadth of habitat, and connections for wildlife to migrate through, and feel comfortable nesting in the interior of a forest, perhaps,” he said. “There are these properties throughout the Cape.”