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  • George Soria

Treasures that hold the key to a sustainable future

In the year 2014, a groundbreaking concept took root within our county's farming community—an innovative permaculture farm. I vividly recall the audacity with which I approached the USDA agencies and county commissioners, seeking a farm tax exception. To say they were taken aback would be an understatement. They viewed me as a visionary or, perhaps, a madman. During the rigorous inspection that followed, their bewilderment peaked when they asked, "Where are the neatly lined rows of plants, neatly quantifiable for projecting crop yields?" They were fixated on the narrow confines of monoculture, unable to fathom the possibilities of a diverse polyculture thriving in a forest-like setting. The very idea of such an unconventional farming approach was summarily dismissed. The denial reverberated within me, a stark reminder of the prevailing resistance to change. Fast forward to the present, and we find ourselves on the precipice of a new decade, confronted by the relentless forces of climate change and a looming food scarcity crisis. In response, a growing number of individuals are turning their gaze towards permaculture farms as beacons of sustainability. Yet, as this movement gains momentum, it encounters a formidable obstacle—land scarcity. Alas, most states stubbornly prioritize rampant development, sacrificing the irreplaceable beauty of our lands on the altar of short-term tax revenues. The impassioned calls for land conservation fall on deaf ears, drowned out by the deafening roar of bulldozers reshaping the very fabric of our earth. It becomes painfully apparent that, when it comes to land, special interests wield unwavering influence. However, in a remarkable departure from the norm, the federal government charts a contrasting course. It defies the actions of its state counterparts and chooses to solicit the ideas and opinions of the people. In a rare display of democratic engagement, the government beckons us to share our voices and shape their agenda. This, dear readers, is an unprecedented opportunity, a clarion call for all of us to rise up and be heard. I implore each and every one of you to seize this moment, to disseminate this link far and wide, and rally everyone within your sphere of influence. Let us unite in a resounding chorus to safeguard our federal lands, for they are not merely assets belonging to a select few, but treasures that hold the key to a sustainable future. The time for action is now.

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