02 November 2010

Sign of the times

Work has been proceeding at the 153 house subdivision next door. Most of the work seems to involve moving a tremendous amount of rock into huge piles and clear cutting the forest. Copious quantities of fossil fuels and dynamite are involved.  Millions of dollars are being spent to run water and sewer lines up the road from town, so evidently the developers, at least, are confident of being able to sell houses.

A few days ago I noticed that surveyors had renewed the stakes marking the lot corners along the property line. It would be overly dramatic to suggest that I felt like they had driven them through my heart - more like a bit of a poke - but it was a stark reminder of what's planned for this land. The most heartbreaking aspect of this is that most of the trees on those lots are likely to be cut down to make room for houses, driveways and lawns. There seems to be an attitude locally that the land is nothing but poor pasture (well, duh, it's a forest) and therefore ideal for clear cutting and putting up oversized, off-gassing, fake stone-encrusted particleboard boxes. And surrounding them with monoculture grass.

Even if the economy holds out long enough for some houses to be sold there, I'm not sure they'll be very practical in a post peak oil world (which is now, by the way). In our area, there aren't many houses being bought or sold just now, which gives me hope that the beautiful ridge will be spared. There's not much I can do to prevent the developers from doing whatever they want, but I will be cheering on the collapse of the economy as perhaps the only realistic way to protect this forest and so many others like it.


  1. I feel your pain, I really do. I use to live in the country, a place where one could walk out of their back yard and go hiking, hunting, and fishing. Now, while I live in the exact same location, it could hardly be called "the country" any more. We are surrounded by private property and housing developments, the quiet fishing lake we live next to has become a muddy mess from all of the jet ski's and ski boats...the fishing is terrible and the lake is polluted. The quiet country road that runs past our place is now like a mini freeway.

    If that beautiful woodland in your picture is where the houses are going to be that really is too bad. Eventually something has got to give and I agree with you about peak oil...so we shall see.

  2. Luckily, what you see in the picture is Phase 3 of the development. The phase 1 section wasn't quite so lovely to begin with, but it's a moonscape now. I sincerely hope that at least a few trees can be spared, and with luck, the entire project will run out of steam before long.

    I'm sorry to hear about your situation. As long as nature is seen as something simply to exploit rather than the foundation of our existence, I don't see much changing.



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