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Monday, August 15, 2011

EcoRI News

We are lucky enough to have a new partnership with EcoRI News, a great organization and environmental news reporting group--http://www.ecori.org--and are using one of their stories today.

Unfortunately, it is not a positive one.  This is the environment getting scarred/sacrificed for potential economic growth.  Here's the link:  http://www.ecori.org/front-page-journal/2011/8/10/clear-cutting-of-native-habitat-at-quonset.html.

The Headline:

Clear-Cutting of Native Habitat at Quonset

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News stafNORTH KINGSTOWN —  

"It's reminiscent of the mass chopping of Truffula trees in Dr. Seuss's "The Lorax." 
Four hundred acres of mostly undisturbed public land in the Quonset Business Park is being clear-cut to make space for prospective business tenants.
The clearing, including the leveling of hundreds of mature trees, is part of a master plan to make the business park more attractive to light industry and manufacturing.
According the Quonset Development Corporation (QDC), a quasi-state agency overseen by the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, the land is owned by the Navy. A spokesman for the QDC said the wooded areas will be reduced to "pad-ready" grassy fields. Some trees are being spared. Permitting or an environmental review was not required for the clearing of trees, but the state Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and Coastal Resources Management Corporation must approve future construction.
Jonathan Campanini of the Rhode Island Tree Council wasn't familiar with the Quonset land clearing, but said the state lacks a comprehensive forest conservation act.
"The goal of such an act is to save as many established trees as possible while still allowing building to proceed," he wrote in an e-mail. "This is the blind spot in DEM strategic planning and will come back to haunt Rhode Island in years ahead." 
How can we justify shredding native land, with a canopy of trees providing shade and clean air, when we have empty buildings, empty, cleared land littering this state?  We understand, and support, the need for investments in creating new jobs, new opportunities.  But this seems like a very bad approach.  We would expect more from the managers of Quonset's Economic Development group, and more from the town and state.
We are filming a new show with the Governor of RI next Monday.  We will be sure to ask him about this decision.  
Thank you to EcoRINews for their coverage.  



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