Opinion: In favor of preserving town forests and open spaces

Feb 29, 2024
To the editor:
Is there anyone else in the town of Wareham that would like to see an attempt to preserve all our remaining forests and opens spaces?  Yes, it sounds idealistic, but what if it was possible?  
The recent solar farm developments on A. D. Makepeace lands have me feeling disappointed. I have come to realize they may not be "Inspired by Nature" as much as their slogan claims. Yes, they have historically been decent enough neighbors and yes, I am for private landowner rights, but how can this be happening? They are segmenting major industrial solar projects to skirt around Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency regulations and we, the people of Wareham and region, will ultimately be the ones who suffer.
The short sighted and catastrophic degradation to these lands will have lasting consequences for future generations. Of course I am all for green energy, but this is not how it should be done.  
The sites of the current projects are state listed critical natural landscapes and if anyone who knows Wareham, heaven on Earth. They are teeming with wildlife and rare species. The proposed sites along Tihonet Pond will obliterate over 350 acres (which is connected to thousands of acres that have recently been altered and cleared for solar development and/or sand and gravel mining operations) of literally the last remaining undeveloped globally rare pine barrens in not only our state, but the world. How can we let this be happening?
These forests are the last largest pristine expanses of forest in the region and the great A. D. Makepeace, while being "inspired by nature", are destroying them. 0 Tihonet Road proposal is still in 61A. That means us, the people, have first rights of refusal to purchase the property.
If climate resilience, clean air, clean water, biodiversity protection are needed and climate change and its effects are knocking at our door, why are allowing out-of-state developers take away forest rather than us conserving them when they are taken out of 61A. 
Lots of local and regional conservation groups want to buy these last remaining forests, let's give them a chance. 
Please Wareham, if NOTOS was a concern for you, urge your leaders to scrutinize these current solar developments along with giving us, the people, the chance to purchase them for future generations to enjoy when they come out of 61A. Once they are gone, they will be gone forever and it is a shame it is happening on our clock.
Joe Falconeiri