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Agricultural lands being lost at a ferocious rate

Brief by Allen Best

Agriculture – June 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

A new report from an organization called Environment Colorado points out how rapidly agricultural land is being lost to residential and commercial development. While the usual phrase is “cows not condos,” the report says that single-family homes on large lots, usually 2 to 40 acres, proportionately cause the greatest loss.

In La Plata County, where Durango is located, 50,000 acres of farm and ranch land have been taken out of production since 1987.

Jim Dyer, a sheepman, tells the Durango Telegraph that locals recognize the value of eating locally grown foods and buying locally produced goods. The question, he says, is whether the lesson is being learned rapidly enough.

The vast majority of locals still consume food and agricultural goods that have been trucked in from the far corners of the country and world, he told the Durango Telegraph,while local cattle are often trucked hundreds of miles to feedlots and butchering plants.