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Letter to the editor: Protect our open land

Letter to the editor: Protect our open land

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Editor:

We cannot afford to lose our precious farmland and forest land in the Northeast. Hopefully, it won't be a choice between an industrial landscape of solar arrays or wall-to-wall housing developments, but our leaders have got to do something.

Landowners often want to pass their land on to their children, but property taxes make it impossible. Why not eliminate property taxes for farmers who sign on to keep their land as farmland? Forest land owners could do likewise, as long as the land is used for forestry. Any wood sold by the landowner could be split 50/50 between the owner and town. If the land was sold at any point for development, back taxes could then be owed to the town.

With our West drying up and aquifers being used up, we must increase farming productivity from vegetables to hay. Right now, out west, reservoirs are drying up and rice farmers are selling their water allotments to other farmers whose crops need less water. British Columbia had triple digit temperatures for the first time. Last year, it was Siberia.

With the West drying up and fires causing breathing difficulties, do you think people are going to stay put? We could have huge migrations to the Northeast. At any point, fires, floods and drought could destroy our food supply. food would be higher-priced, if available at all.

We need small-scale farmers, producing vegetables for our farmers markets and hay producers for those of us who need to feed our horses. Think ahead while we still can. Protect our open land!

Martha Winsten, Gansevoort

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