Residential sprawl is the threat |

Residential sprawl is the threat

Dear Editor:I could not disagree more with the recent letter complaining about AVLT’s land conservation efforts on East Mesa (Dec. 22).If we are to be sustainable, we cannot afford to treat agricultural lands as simply warehoused development areas. The real threat to this valley comes from relentless residential sprawl; according to your story on Dec. 29, a staggering 20 square miles of Missouri Heights have been sold to developers or are under contract for second-home development. Whereas open spaces produce clean air, clean water, wildlife and more taxes than they consume in required services, residential sprawl consumes all of the same.Arguments about the adequacy of federal lands ignores the fact that these lands do not include our most productive agricultural areas, winter range or lower riparian areas.The downvalley area badly needs a funded open space acquisition program. Until that happens, the nonprofit Aspen Valley Land Trust soldiers on as our only hope and deserves our utmost appreciation for its tireless work.Dale WillCarbondale

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