Open Space

New England today faces unprecedented and profound threats to its land and natural resource base. Climate change and its impacts on the region’s biodiversity and agricultural and forest economies, fragmentation of the landscape from sprawling development and the generational turnover in farming and forestry operations, and the demand for coastal property threaten the viability of the plants, animals, and resource-based industries that depend on these lands. They also threaten the human experience of our natural world. As a historic marker of change, tourism now eclipses forestry and farming as a source of employment in the region’s rural places, yet tourism depends directly on these very qualities of the landscape and rural industry.

from,  Report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Land Conservation of the New England Governors Conference, Inc.

Often, the best open space plan is also the best development plan.

Development imposes costs on communities. Residential development requires roughly $1.24 in expenditures for public services for every dollar it generates in tax revenues. By contrast, open space generates only 38 cents in costs for each dollar in taxes paid.

Let’s identify the most appropriate lands for preservation and conservation. Protect them. And then develop in the less sensitive lands. A balanced approach.