SodaCanyonRoad | The Disappearing West

The Disappearing West

Bill Hocker | May 18, 2016 on: Watershed Issues

This amazing mapping study covering the western half the the United States documents how the natural landscape is being converted to human use over time. California, of course, leads the way in natural landscape consumption (but also protection!). Click on the image below to open the interactive map - which sadly doesn't seem to work on older browsers - that shows loss by state, by county and by the acre. (To my biased eyes, the rector watershed in the blank area due north of Napa city really stands out!)

Update 6/10/16: the night sky is disappearing along with the West. 80% of Americans can no longer see the Milky Way. We on Soda Canyon are among the 20% who may still view the Milky Way at night (and passing satellites) but probably not for long as the urban development continues. It was quite interesting to note in the article that Sedona, Ariz. has become an international dark sky area - it is possible to stop the pollution if communities and their governments have the will.

International Dark-Sky Association (Unlike LEED or JDPowers ratings, this purchased certification would seem to have measurable affects)
Sedona earns dark-sky designation

The loss of natural landscape to agriculture, particularly to the life-style recreational agriculture that is now consuming more and more of the forested hillsides of Napa County, needs to be weighed against the value that undeveloped land provides for the sustainability of our species, other species, and for the nourishment of our souls.

All something to think about considering the 2300 acres of natural habitat that are about to be consumed by vineyards and roads and future building sites at Walt Ranch, shown here.

Along with this photo from Jim Wilson came an invitation to Healing Walk Napa Valley: St. Helena to Yountville on Sat, May 21st