Every minute, 2 acres of land is lost to urban sprawl.
I have titled this not fighting urban sprawl, but resisting urban sprawl because for many like us, being landowners, it is about the resisting of the temptation of the big bucks. All around my area, landowners are cashing in big, selling their fields for property development. We are talking profits that can range up beyond a million.
My dad farmed the land, and now that he is no longer with us, we rent the property to be farmed. But the profits from renting barely cover the cost of the taxes. I can not blame those who choose to sell, it is their right as landowners, they earned that right as United States Citizens. But is selling the right thing to do....
From 1982 to 1997, the US population grew 17%, but land development grew 47%
Many would say it is simple to decide, of course you do something like a conservation easement or sell your development rights... but a decision like that is a major decision, one that can not be undone. That can be like somebody handing you a check for 1 million and shaking your head no.
I do love this quote from The Progressive Farmer magazine, the March 2008 issue, where the gentleman was asked, after selling his rights to development in order to protect his farmland, if he was robbing his children of their future inheritance. His response: "I have the opportunity to farm this land because previous generations preserved it. What gives me the right to determine that this farm is not to be farmed by future generations?" Oh, I love that quote!!