186 Acres Saved in Granby

On average, people who live in Manhattan are much better for the environment than people who live in the Valley. That's according to an article in the New Yorker magazine. “Eighty-two per cent of Manhattan residents travel to work by public transit, by bicycle, or on foot,” David Owen wrote in the October 18, 2004 issue. Most New York City people live in apartment buildings which are inherently more energy efficient than the single family houses that most Valley residents live in. The number one lesson for the Valley? Protect open space. That is exactly what is about to happen in Granby, Massachusetts, which borders Amherst.

“We're wrapping up the final paperwork” on a deal to save 186 acres of forest, Kristin DeBoer told the Valley Post on January 26, 2015. She runs www.KestrelTrust.org. Most of the money for groups like Kestrel (similar groups exist throughout the Valley and can be found at www.FindALandTrust.org) comes from the state. Vermont spends around $7 million a year on land protection out of a state budget of around $5 billion. The federal government's investment in saving land pales next to its military spending which amounts to just under half the entire budget. The Vermont Land Trust is organizing an all-day “citizens' lobby day” at the statehouse on February 12.

“People who live in cities use only about half as much electricity as people who don’t,” according to the New Yorker article.

Climate change caused by cars is an urgent threat to human life on earth, according to the world's leading scientists.

In general, towns with the most protected open space have the lowest property taxes. That's according to a study by www.vlct.org. The town of Dummerston, Vermont borders Brattleboro and invests around $2,500 a year in farmland protection.

Direct action to save forests has had some remarkable successes across the country. In 1996, thousands of people attended rallies in favor of saving the ancient Headwaters redwood forest in northern California from logging plans by Maxxam Corporation. Hundreds of people were arrested for non-violent, civil disobedience. Soon after the arrests, the federal government bought 7,500 acres to create the Headwaters Forest Preserve. Logging is forbidden in the reserve.

By raising taxes on millionaires, the state can convert drafty single-family houses in towns and cities like Springfield, Greenfield, and Keene into energy efficient multi-family housing. Growth can happen upwards, rather than outwards. Downtown Brattleboro has historic, four-story apartment buildings near the Amtrak station.


NYC & Open Space

I agree with the part about NYC... don't see how its connected with saving open space here, tho... tho, I think saving open space is important. I see too many people, in the valley, as well, going for Bourgie ideas like tiny homes, i.e. using MORE raw materials to build them, when there are tons of empty apartments and houses in the valley due to being foreclosed on.... if you really want to help the environment move to some of these towns where they proliferate, such as Turners Falls, Holyoke, Springfield, etc. and fix them up...

Anonymous, I think what the

Anonymous, I think what the author meant was that preserving open space can lead to more people living in urban areas (eg downtown Brattleboro) rather than cities spreading it in low-density 'sprawl' that we typically see in this country. You make a similar point when you say that rather than building new homes people could fix up pre-existing buildings and urban areas, which I (and I think the author) totally agree with. If they are dense enough, you might even get people walking and biking more, shopping locally, etc, creating more vibrant urban spaces and a stronger sense of place and community.

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