We know we want plenty of space between us and our neighbors, more space than just walls, ceiling, and floor. We also know we want a little acreage ...I know the urge. When L & I were first married, we lived for 4 years on 1100 acres of wooded land on the Haw River in Chatham county, and the experience was idyllic for us and our kids. Wild turkey, deer, foxes, bobcats, owls, hawks -- all were our regular visitors. And a few years ago, back when we thought L's stock options in the dot-com boom were going to make us millionaires (hah!), we started looking at acreage to put a log house on. (Didn't happen.)
[We're considering buying ] over six acres, half of which is covered by this fantastic meadow surrounded by tall old hardwoods, that could be ours—and not in the mitts of a lot-scraping developer.
But I don't think I'd do that today.
People living far from their places of work on large lots -- that's the essence of low density exurban growth. If we moved there, yes, we'd be protecting some habitat. But when more and more people move there who want the same thing (and they are coming), they'll pressure the county to zone for 5 acre lots, because they love privacy and nature, too.
And they'll bring their cars, so they'll need better roads, and they'll want some lawn, so trees will come down, and they'll use herbicides and pesticides which will get into the watershed, and they'll probably be wanting water and sewer and electricity. All that stuff will degrade habitat.
It might even be the case that a lot-scraping developer, who would certainly develop more densely in order to make a profit, would end up leaving more natural habitat untouched.
My point is that if you're a nature lover, you ought seriously to consider being a city slicker if you don't want to become part of the problem you're trying to solve.
Former Greensboro Mayor Carolyn Allen suggests in today's paper that we engage in statewide planning to set aside natural areas, and that seems like a good idea to me. She provides a hyperlink to Land for Tomorrow.