Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hundreds of miles of Colorado wilderness lost to 21st-century development boom

A 21st-century development surge has transformed at least 525 square miles of Colorado, an area bigger than Rocky Mountain National Park, as once-wild land vanishes across the West. The urban expansion, road-building and energy production is causing a breakup of natural space that threatens wildlife as people push into their habitat. A bear walking a random path couldn't go farther than 3½ miles on average before encountering "significant human development," according to an analysis by Conservation Science Partners, being unveiled Tuesday at the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C., conservation group.  Colorado ranked second to California (785 square miles) in total natural area affected. Development across 11 Western states now covers more than 165,000 square miles, with more than 4,321 square miles converted since 2001, the "Disappearing West" study foundAnd urban sprawl, commerce and drilling claim the equivalent of a football field every 2½ minutes — roughly a Los Angeles-sized area of open land per year...more

So, we have another "crisis" and Congress must act.  An often-used tactic to stir public opinion and help the enviro lobbyists.  And this all happens while the Park Service is pushing their 100th anniversary and the Land & Water Conservation Fund is up for reauthorization.  Just a coincidence, I'm sure.

According to the NRCS, the U.S. contains 1.4 billion acres, 94 % of which is not developed.  That's a helluva lot of football fields.  Do the math and you'll see this is hardly a crisis.

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