Summer 1999

Summer 1999

Seeing the Forests and the Trees

Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New EnglandBy Tom Wessels The Countryman Press, Woodstock, Vermont, 1999 (paperback), 199 pages. Stepping Back to Look Forward: A History of the Massachusetts ForestEdited By Charles H.W. FosterHarvard University, Cambridge, 1998, 339 pages. When I was a kid, out in the patchy, suburb-fringed but, to me, luminously(...)

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Holding Land in Common

Trespassing: An Inquiry into the Private Ownership of LandBy John Hanson Mitchell A Merloyd Lawrence Book, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts, 1998, 295 pages. In the 19th century to be called a “curious man” was a compliment; it denoted that category of citizen who was accomplished in most of the natural science of the era. John Hanson(...)

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Buying Land in Provincetown

Provincetown – “I guarantee you that we will be out of this marathon tonight,” says Roslyn Garfield dryly. Clad in blazer and slacks, Garfield is the no-nonsense moderator of town meeting in Provincetown, and her words come in the opening minutes of Night Six, on Tuesday, April 13. In this isolated community of 4,000 residents(...)

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Fouling The Waters

Fouling The Waters

By Massachusetts law, Spy Pond is defined as a “Great Pond.” But to those who are well acquainted with the pond, it’s not as great as it used to be. I became a Spy Pond watcher five years ago, when I moved to a house in Arlington that has a view of the pond —(...)

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Buying Land in Harwich

Harwich -Under a lowering sky, voters make their way toward the gym at sprawling Harwich High School for the second (and final) evening of town meeting, on Tuesday, May 4. The night before, they had put 52 articles to bed and still gotten home in time to catch the 11 o’clock news. They had approved(...)

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An environmentalist in the city

An environmentalist in the city Not so many years ago, Gregory Watson learned more than he ever thought he’d need to know about dairy farming. As commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Food and Agriculture, he traveled the state meeting with food producers, including an active group of dairy farmers who were pressing for milk(...)

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Environmental Spending and Cleanup

Massachusetts has been known as an environmentally friendly state–often at the expense of the business community. But how much does the Commonwealth actually spend on environmental programs compared to the rest of the country? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the state and its cities and towns together spent about $270 per capita on environmental(...)

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Counterpoint

Home builders, highway planners, and hamburger vendors who have catered to America’s appetite for sprawl for half a century can’t seem to acknowledge why a growing number of their customers now demand more livable places. The sprawl builders note that America has a bounty of open land from sea to shining sea. But a lack(...)

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Hot Summer Reading

Gov. Paul Cellucci and his old friend Bob Durand popped into the Beacon Hill headquarters of the Appalachian Mountain Club earlier this year for a brief ceremony celebrating Durand’s appointment as secretary of environmental affairs. Representatives of the state’s major environmental groups were in attendance and high praise was directed the governor’s way for choosing(...)

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Argument

As a native of the Midwest, I am often struck by the close, dense urban lifestyle of the Boston area. But density is only part of the New England landscape. Having spent several years in New England (I attended Colby College in Waterville, Maine), I am also acutely aware of the vast amounts of open(...)

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