the wholesale destruction of a place by people who are not from it and have no heart for it—who mouth platitudes but who were not bred up to know the land.

No doubt. Our disinclination to zone against “development” is one factor, and restlessness is another. But what makes people want to buy a tract home in the exurbs to begin with? Nothing more than a sentimental love for “country.” It’s the age-old story: we destroy what we cannot possess.

Thanks for the thoughtful comments. Have you blogged these stories? People should be able to relate to them no matter where they’re from. I think it’s important that we keep telling stories of love and loss for real places, not just “nature” in the abstract, or some charismatic elephant or polar bear on the other side of the world.