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July 05, 2007

Ameya Preserve

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These guys gave 250K to the YNP Foundation..... 250K might buy you a broom closet in one of their trophy homes.
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I recommend that you take the time to educate yourselves relative to environmental issues, both locally and globally, prior to jumping behind a clever marketing scheme. There is a bumper sticker from the early environmental movement - “Think Globally, Act Locally. This adage sheds light on the folly of the Ameya’s marketing scheme.

Ameya Preserve is marketed as an exquisite luxury development that is both green and a boon to conservation. A recent full-page ad in our local Livingston and Bozeman, MT newspapers boldly claims: “This project preserves natural resources that couldn’t be preserved by any other means.” Nothing could be farther from the truth.

First, building 2nd, 3rd, or more luxury homes in sensitive wildlife habitat, such as elk winter range or bear habitat (black and grizzly) is nothing more that an extravagant waste of natural resources, not a preservation of natural resources; no matter how you look at it. (Think Globally, Act Locally!) Second, you should do some reading on the problems associated with displacement and habituation of wildlife. The risk of mortality increases dramatically for bears that are displaced and/or habituated to humans. Natural Resource Defense Council considers “people and their houses” as the biggest problem grizzly bears face.

Concerning claims of zero CO2 emissions and the Conservation Fund’s involvement in this project, you should also educate yourselves about CO2 emissions accounting and seriously question mitigating CO2 from Ameya Preserve by planting trees in north central North Dakota. Are you aware that most of north central North Dakota is glaciated plains, consisting of grasslands? Secondly, do your really think that growing 1,700 acres of trees in what may be best suited for grassland will really offset all of the CO2 emissions from the construction of 300 luxury homes and associated infrastructure, not to mention all of the trees cut down to provide the building materials for those homes? How about the diesel fuel and gasoline consumed by all the heavy construction equipment? Then there is the asphalt to pave the roads and all of the other petroleum-derived construction materials and household items.

Homes at Ameya Preserve are not designed to be primary residences. How many homes do the prospective clients of Ameya Preserve own, and how large are they? Think of how much jet fuel and gasoline is wasted by the ultra-wealthy and their families, while bopping between their various vacation homes and other vacation resorts. True CO2 budgeting requires a careful examination of the behavior of each individual in the family. Imagine what would if all third-world inhabitants were brought up to our level of consumption? Think Globally, Act Locally!

Note that some of the photos on the website are color enhanced. The environment in the valley and foothills south of Livingston is semi-arid. The area is green for perhaps 3 months out of the year. The rest of the year, the grassland vegetation is light brown. Oh, yeah, did I mention the area is also prone to wildfire?

So, you may feel that Ameya Preserve is very cool and sheik, but it is far from GREEN. While it is hep to be green, being green requires being aware and being informed.

As always, Pete has nailed this one to the hide stretching board. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT!If you read some of the NewWest coverage you can find out some of the other slips that the Ameya developers have made : such as advertising heli-skiing in the wilderness, fishing for native brown trout and being able to track GPS tagged wildlife from your home computer. There are a number of other interesting bits and pieces in the articles, but best read them yourselves. Like Chandlers bedevilment the the Siskiyou County plan (voted down once so far) we can win 'em, but you have to keep going to bat for what you believe in. Now hopefully Pete pulls a Smith River permit this year during a good fishing week....

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