Friday, September 05, 2003

Mapping the good land

From yesterday's CS Monitor: "Mapping Miniature, Unspoiled Plots of Land" by Tim King.
[A] two-decade effort to find and preserve the last remnants of the nation's most pristine ecosystems is becoming increasingly urgent. Unlike federal efforts to protect vast tracts of untouched land, states are involved in discovering and mapping miniature tracts that remain unspoiled by human interference. Increasingly, biologists are finding these remnants of ecosystems just ahead of the bulldozers.
The article discusses one such project in Minnesota, where a developer donated 29 acres of land next to a proposed new development.
Besides preserving one of the last pieces of original forest land in the county, the plan also delivers ecological benefits, notes Mr. Stein of NatureServe. The woodland, and other forests on the river bank, retain soil that would otherwise enter the river, keeping the water clean for the millions of people downstream who drink it. "Sometimes it's cheaper to maintain green infrastructure than it is to build new gray infrastructure like water treatment plants," he says.
You don't say!

Which reminds me of an ad playing on AM radio for a new, controversial development in West LA, Playa Vista. I don't know all the details of the controversy, but part of it has to do with the development's proximity to wetlands and underground methane pockets. Regardless of the merits of each side's case, the current ad has much fodder for deconstruction, including the phrase "more lifestyle per square foot."

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