[GRRN] beware of rural sprawl

chelsea center for recycling and economic development (amyp@chelseacenter.org)
Wed, 10 Mar 1999 15:51:38 -0500

Another non-recycling article, but I thought you all would enjoy it:



FLEISCHMANNS, N.Y. - in case you city dwellers and suburbanites haven't
noticed, be warned: The countryside is slowly creeping up on you. Like a
rapidly growing weed that smothers everything in its path, rural areas are
encroaching on our cities and suburbs, and no one -- not our elected
officials, public interest groups or citizens -- is doing anything to
stop this rural sprawl.
In countless confrontations, rural extremists are preventing businesses
from building industrial parks, shopping malls, condominiums, single-family
homes, theme parks, airports and sports arenas. They are even fighting the
construction of new highways! What would the country be without the
network of freeways linking our cities, suburbs, shopping malls, theme
parks and sports arenas?
Rural sprawl began quietly with the infiltration, in ever-increasing
numbers, of wildlife, squirrels, rabbits, songbirds and other small, cuddly
apparently innocuous creatures -- into our suburbs and the fringes of our
major cities. Now it seems that these small animals were only the advance
guard of a cunningly planned invasion that also includes deer, coyotes,
beavers, mountin lions, bears and other despoilers of our cherished
suburban and urban habitats.
Areas that otherwise would be given over to job creation and highly
profitable logging, strip mining and oil drilling are being expropriated by
wild animals, which are inherently valueless since they contribute nothing
to our economy. Once these beasts establish themselves, shielded by
hellbent wildlife-protection gorups and misguided politicians, they can
never be dislodged.
But these animals are only the unwitting servants of the quaint-seeming
"country folk" whose diabological plan is to eradicate or make unlivable
our suburbs and cities by covering our streets, sidewalks and highways with
grass, shrubbery and trees. They want to inundate shopping malls and
sports arenas with lakes, ponds and streams; replace our condo developments
with "picturesque" villages and hamlets and our suburban tract homes with
drafty farmhouses.
The ultimate goal of these fanatical rustics is to return all of us
(because he starts out talking to "you" city dwellers ...) to lives of
unsophisticated rural primitivism. Is this the kind of life we want to
lead? Fight rural sprawl now, before it's too late!

REPRINTED IN THE STAR TRIBUNE, 3/7/99, page A23, from The New York Times.
Amy Perlmutter
Executive Director
Chelsea Center for Recycling and
Economic Development
University of Massachusetts
180 Second Street
Chelsea, MA 02150
617-887-2300/fax 617-887-0399
visit our web site at www.chelseacenter.org