Maryland: Campus-wide resistance to land clearing leads to “protestabration”

Students and professors say the University of Maryland administration is missing the forest for the trees by planning to bulldoze nearly 9 acres of woods on the sprawling 1,400-acre campus to make way for maintenance sheds, a mail-handling depot and a parking lot for the university's buses and trucks. "The university says they're going to become carbon neutral by 2050, but they make a decision to cut down 9 acres of forest on the campus," said Davey Rogner, a senior from Silver Spring who's majoring in environmental restoration. He and others plan to stage what one student leader called a "protestabration" Friday at the arboretum festivities, to highlight their concerns about how the loss of the woods conflicts with the university's commitment to the environment.

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Read about all forest issues in Maryland: http://forestpolicyresearch.com/category/north-american-tree-news/maryland/

He and others plan to stage what one student leader called a "protestabration" Friday at the arboretum festivities, to highlight their concerns about how the loss of the woods conflicts with the university's commitment to the environment. University officials say they need to use most of the 15-acre wooded hill behind the Comcast Center to relocate support facilities that are to be displaced by the redevelopment on east campus that will bring more stores, eateries, entertainment and graduate student housing. They say putting the maintenance operations anywhere but on the wooded tract would be too costly or pose too many environmental problems. Anne G. Wylie, vice president for administrative affairs, suggests it's the critics, not the administration, who might need a refresher class in sustainability.

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 "This is a very complicated problem," she said, adding that she sees no conflict between bulldozing woods and the university's campaign to be rated one of the nation's greenest schools. The overall aim is to develop a more compact, walkable campus and reduce the amount of driving by students, faculty and staff, she explained. "It's not just about preserving trees."

Please value the writer & producer of these words by paying a visit to: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/education/bal-te.md.campuswoods07may07,0,3295604.story

Read about all forest issues in Maryland: http://forestpolicyresearch.com/category/north-american-tree-news/maryland/

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