Keene City Council Will Decide Forest's Fate

On December 5, the Keene city council will vote on whether to permanently protect open land from being paved with parking lots, houses, or other kinds of so-called “development.” Saving the forest would cost the city $26,500. A local group is urging the city to save the land. The group's web site is www.MonadnockConservancy.org.

The council vote will happen at a public meeting that starts at 7 p.m. More information is at:

www.ci.keene.nh.us/government/city-council

Sprawl is a major problem in the Valley. A Trust for Public Land report, "The Connecticut River: Quintessential New England," tells a shocking story with numbers: the number of people living in the entire length of the Connecticut River valley grew just eight percent from 1980 to 2000. But the amount of developed land grew 33 percent from 1982 to 1997.

There is a map at www.ValleyPost.org/node/137 (scroll down to the bottom of that page). Made by the Trust for Public Land in 2006, the map shows the Pioneer Valley/ Brattleboro/ Keene section of the Connecticut River watershed. Land outside the watershed is light green, meaning streams in that area do not flow to the Connecticut River. Dark green land has been protected from development, in many cases by www.LandTrustAlliance.org. On the map, red land is vulnerable to being paved with McMansions, Wal-Marts, parking lots, roads, and ChemLawns. Click on the map to enlarge it.

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