Category Archives: Land Trusts (& other private land conservation)

The Plenteous Summer

When I go outside this summer I’m impressed by the amount of greenery.  I don’t have data, but it’s the greenest summer–the largest volume of foliage–I remember. This makes sense.  The limiting factors for photosynthesis, Biology 101 tells us, are temperature, light, and carbon dioxide.  Translating photosynthesis into plant growth–that is, new biomass–also involves availability […]

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Colony Farm Orchard: Get on the Visitors’ List ASAP

For 33 years, from 1977 to early 2010, the Colony Farm Orchard was protected by a restrictive covenant.  By virtue of the terms of the gift to Western Michigan University by the state of Michigan, this land was to be kept as open space for public use. Now, as can be seen, WMU is telling […]

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Michigan League of Conservation Voters: Rep. Robert Jones-100, Colony Farm Orchard-0

The League of Conservation Voters is a national environmental group that is best known for its Environmental Scorecard, where the league tallies the pro- and anti-environmental votes cast by our elected representatives.  I’m glad the organization exists; I strongly support the idea that we should know how politicians vote on conservation issues and hold them […]

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Asylum Lake Preserve: What Kalamazoo ought to do, part 2

My last post several days ago repeated and updated some remarks I’d made on Earth Day 2004.   It ended with the following comment about the Asylum Lake Preserve situation at that time: Today’s Gazette (24 April 2004) had more good news. After a long process, a Declaration of Conservation Restrictions and Management Framework for the […]

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A Cleaner, Greener Land: What Kalamazoo Ought to Do. 2010, Part 1.

I made the following remarks at the 24 April 2004 Earth Day celebration at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and included them on the earlier version of my website as Conservation Letter 2 . Today, in boldface , I look at the same topics six years later. When I agreed to give a talk at Earth […]

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Land Trusts and The Land Trust Movement

This is an updated version of a page from the first version of my website.  It will be moved to the Pages section in a few days. For classification purposes, we can separate land conservation by government and land conservation by private organizations. Two models of private land conservation exist–land trusts and land advocacy organizations. […]

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Field Trip to Big Island Woods (Cooper’s Island) Coming Up

Saturday 24 April I’m leading a field trip to the Big Island Woods, also referred to as Cooper’s Island.  It’s a trip for the Kalamazoo Wild Ones chapter. “Big Island Woods” refers to an “island” of forest in the middle of Prairie Ronde, southwest Michigan’s largest mesic (tall-grass) prairie. The village of Schoolcraft was founded […]

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Costa Rica in the Dry Season, February 2010

Katy and I just returned from two weeks in Costa Rica.  As part of an Elderhostel–though the program is now called Exploritas–we visited five sites ranging from mangrove forest along the Pacific Coast to the rather chaparral-like vegetation called paramo around 11,000 feet above sea level on Cerro de la Muerte.  Included were visits to […]

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Colony Farm Orchard: A Time for Knowledge, Wisdom, Conscience

The Kalamazoo Gazette for Sunday 14 February carried a Viewpoint I wrote which they titled WMU can keep orchard in natural state.  It had been altered slightly, improving the message in some ways.  Nevertheless, I prefer the version below. Posting it here may also be useful to those who missed the piece in the Sunday […]

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Colony Farm Orchard: Can The Land Abide?

I sent a slightly different version of this essay to Western Michigan University’s student newspaper, the Western Herald on 17 January 2010 [Published 20 January with title Reps. Jones, George could have protected Colony Farm Orchard.] The Herald correctly reported on 10 January 2010 (online, 11 January print) that Governor Granholm signed HB 5207 recently.  […]

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