Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Land conservation: Recession brings opportunity

"Every golf shot makes somebody happy."

Dave Cable, executive director of the Catawba Lands Conservancy, noted Wednesday that this recession that's whipsawing real estate development has a small bright side. The so-called highest and best use of a lot of land around here has gone from residential development to speculative land holding. And no one knows when the market is coming back. So some developers decide they need to sell the land, fast.

"We literally have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for land conservation," he said.

Cable's remarks came at a Wednesday breakfast for corporate, foundation and government partners. The nonprofit, nonadvocacy land preservation group has preserved more than 8,000 acres from development in the Charlotte region.

"I get calls all the time from developers now," he said after the meeting. Potential conservation sites are being eyed in Union, Gaston and Mecklenburg County, he said. Not all offers are, or should be, accepted, of course. But the group has some 1,600 acres in the pipeline for possible conservation in 2009.

13 comments:

Rev. Mike said...

And if Mr. Cable was aiming to spend his own or his organization's own money to do so, I would say more power to him. Unfortunately, what he wants is for the Mecklenburg County taxpayers to do it for him via park bonds. Perhaps he has not seen the memo, but, successful bond referenda notwithstanding, there isn't any money just laying around the house burning a hole in our pockets to pay for it, even if one were to support his agenda, which I don't.

Cato said...

"We literally have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for land conservation..."

Well, until some planner busybody uses the Kelo decision to acquire that "protected" land for his profession's next great attempt to improve all of our lives.

meckdeck said...

Funny, a few months ago the argument was that the rolling boom times meant we had a once in a lifetime opportunity for taxpayers to buy up land before it was all turned into subdivisions by developers.

Boom times = buy land.

Recession = buy land.

I see a pattern here. Jennifer Roberts' buddies are free to play the lotto for their money, sticking taxpayers with the bill is a non-starter.

JAT

tajblues said...

What does Kelo have to do with BUYING land? It is an eminent domain case, for a Pfizer development, not a conservation easement.

I agree with Cable, buy land. Otherwise, it is going to turn into more suburban crap. I value forests far more than suburban crap.

Anyone else, suburban crap or forests?

Rev. Mike said...

Personally, I pick my suburban crap; however, feel free to buy all the forest you wish. Just keep your fingers out of my wallet when you do it.

Anonymous said...

Rev. Mike,

Mecklenburg County is only one county in the Lower Catawba River Basin where this organization works to conserve land.

By the way, where does your drinking water come from?

Anonymous said...

Rev. Mike,

Of course you like the suburban crap, cause development keeps the money flowing to Duke Power, but you, of all people, should know how much time, energy, and money, Crescent has put into conservation efforst with the Conservancy.

Rev. Mike said...

Anonymous, my drinking water comes from Mountain Island reservoir just like most folks in the City of Charlotte. Thus, when I was on CCBAC, I supported the water conservation request from CLC and recommended that it be maintained under the auspices of Park & Rec because it was a public good. I also voted for that bond referendum, unlike a lot of folks who did not seem to be able to distinguish between a land request from P&R and one from CMS.

As for my love of suburban crap, the connection between my place of employment and by extension my wallet is not as closely related as you might think. I choose suburban crap because I like the lifestyle it affords me, and it's where I live, omniscient city planners who know what I need better than I do notwithstanding. If I wanted to live in an urban environment, I'd buy a house there. (Of course, I'd have to be able to afford it first.) If I wanted to go all Thoreau and live in the woods, I'd buy a house there. (Oh, wait ... no can do because Dave Cable & Co. own the land and won't let anyone develop it.)

One gets way out on the limb by oneself when one presumes the motivations of others.

Anonymous said...

No resource will flourish if managed by government.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't that organization build trails?

Rick B said...

I don't know whether it's ignorance, malice, or just plain old love of misery, but a few of the posts on this topic demonstrate such blind adherence to some misguided and defective ideology that all legitimacy is absent.

Dave Cable and the Catawba Lands Conservancy have some sort of nefarious "agenda"? Well, whatever...

If voluntary conservation of the region's most precious or vulnerable natural lands is bad...

If helping to protect the water supply for millions of people is bad...

If providing assistance to landowners who wish to preserve their family farm or forest is bad...

If partnering with local governments and state agencies to maximize the benefit that can be achieved with the minimum of capital outlay is bad...

If operating outreach programs to provide both education and recreation to countless numbers of our region's children is bad...

If leveraging every dollar of donated money into over sixteen dollars of land and conservation easement value is bad...

If protecting land exclusively through such mechanisms as donations and voluntary conservation easements, and never through coercion, is bad...

If having one of the lowest overhead-to-revenue ratios of any area non-profit is bad...

then, OK, I'll agree that this horrible agenda must be opposed at all costs.

However, I find it more than a little bit ironic that "conservation" has the same etymology as "conservative", yet so many of those who shout their supposed "conservative" credentials from the rooftops have no concept of what a conservaitve lifestyle or value set really is. Hint: it has nothing to do with the idiotic blatherings of gasbags like Rush Limbaugh and Bill James.

No, I'll pass...instead, give me some more of the Catawba Lands Conservancy's "agenda", please.

Anonymous said...

Deep breaths, Rick. Deep breaths.

Nathan Bonstell UWF said...

It is great to hear about positive impacts of the recession. I don’t think too many people can say that they are happy to have a less stable economy, but I don’t think that anyone can argue that it is having positive impacts on the environment. With the world economy slowing down we have been using less natural resources and reducing carbon emissions. That kind of effect is obvious to see but the idea of grabbing up resources for protection had not occurred to me yet. I hope to see resource protection become a high priority for now. If we buy cheap we can buy more.