It has come to my attention over the past month that some of our natural heritage sites are in jeopardy of being developed in the new year. I urge our new council to look carefully at our remaining wild spaces and work toward protecting them.
In this time of rapid development of land in the county, I hope we will not lose sight of the natural, wild spaces that foster our ecological diversity that is so important to many of us.
The popular perception that vacant, wild land is somehow useless and invaluable unless it is repurposed and made profitable needs to be revisited. We need to seek balance so that we can live in this special area without changing it drastically. Every time a woods is cut down, a wetland is drained, a brush area is ripped out to extend a field, we alter forever what we once had. It is often only in hindsight that we reminisce that which we have lost.
We will lose our last remaining nesting sites for the whip-poor-wills, least bitterns, Blandings and snapping turtles. We will lose our alvar plants. We will lose wild spaces where migratory birds, butterflies and dragonflies rest before their long voyage south. We will lose our natural heritage. As the county continues to expand the tourism trade, I hope everyone involved takes a moment to walk a shoreline, breath in some forest air, or find a quiet, leafy spot and contemplate our future.