Since time began, there has been a continuous and delicate balance between Development and Conservation. The desire and need for expansion and accommodation drives humankind to discover, settle, grow, build, and prosper.
Throughout the evolution of humans, the Adventurous Ones have ventured into the unknown, claiming new territory, fighting off threats, and staking claim to spaces to be Civilized and Developed. Simultaneously, we have had Settlers, who have made the Known Areas bigger, more comfortable, with added amenities and safeguards, and developed societies and social norms.
It has long been that precious area, between the Frontier and the City, that area that has been “Settled”, in the minds of those who came before any newcomers, that is often embroiled in Conservation vs. Development controversy. What the Settlers of generations back call “Invasion”, and “Sprawl”, the newcomer often calls “Quaint”, or “Remote”. And they are both referring to the SAME area!
Perspective has a Very intoxicating and pervasive affect. That same Settler may venture further afield someday, on an adventure or a vacation. They “discover” a New place, and ascribe the same adjectives to that New area that the Newcomer uses to describe the hometown they ventured from!
One’s perspective on a place is indelibly influenced and molded by the point at which they are introduced. I spent almost two decades in Very remote parts of the world—places that are considerably different than they were when I arrived. When I return for visits, I sit at a beach bar, and lament how things have Changed, how Built Up the place has become. “They’ve RUINED it!!”, I lament to the guy sitting next to me. Meanwhile, He’s thinking the place is just the Bees Knees! So Remote! So Primitive! So Exclusive! “Yeah, but, you should have seen it WHEN!!”, I say…
The halted interchange at I 66 and Rt. 55 between the Plaines and Thoroughfare Gap, Way back when I 66 was installed, the proposed Buckland Bypass(s), The Old Town Warrenton Bypass-Bypass, Van Metre in Marshall, Leckner Fords Expansion, the list goes on ad infinitum. Urban, and suburban sprawl, building, development, and “Progress” are the inevitable consequences of time, population, influx, discovery, and prosperity. So often, and so easily, we fall prey to the hypocrisy of, “I’m Here now!! We must STOP this insane Development!!”.
Researching the recent developments on the proposals being bantered about regarding the traffic problems on the Rt. 29 corridor between Warrenton and Gainesville, I came across an article in the Washington Post about this. Dateline, November 26, 2006.
As I read online commentary regarding the recent (non)development about the proposals, I was reminded of an article from the News Optomist. How do we avoid the seduction of adopting the all-around counterproductive N.I.M.B.Y., or “Not in My Backyard!”, not to be outdone are the B.A.N.A.N.A. folks—“Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone!”, who’s usual followers are C.A.V.E.’s—“Citizens Against Virtually Everything!” attitude?
How do we accept, influence, control, and determine our own destiny? How do we manage the inevitability of progress, yet avoid catching “The Tiger by the Tail” (can you Hear me, Gainesville? Can you Hear me, Centreville? Bristow? Woodbridge?), being consumed by Crisis Response to a population and development explosion, one we have not Prepared and Accommodated for? Equally important, how do we protect, promote, maintain and safeguard our Heritage Legacy, without becoming stiflingly restrictive (Hello, Middleburg!)?
Our Heritage is a double-edged sword. One that makes this area so attractive to newcomers, yet is at the heart of what we wish to preserve.
I fully subscribe to a philosophy of Awareness, that Sunlight makes the Best Disinfectant. I believe that we all, anyone that has a vested interest or concern for the beauty of our homeland, have an obligation to be as informed and aware as we possibly can. Attend citizens meetings, attend zoning board hearings, petition your LOCAL government representatives. Know what the issues are, be Informed about plans, proposals, and problems in the works. We may not feel like we have much influence or impact, but if we neglect our God given and American Rights to Know about our public hearings, we acquiesce what real power we DO have. It may not feel like much, but it’s even More valuable and important, as our impact may be minor. What little we Can do must be fiercely guarded and exercised.
I am reminded of my staunch position regarding two Major multibillion dollar global industries (that shall remain nameless) that I boycott. On more than one occasion, they behaved in a manner that federal courts found criminal. Their actions directly resulted in several deaths. Their response and decades-long litigation has led me to refuse to ever purchase their goods. My effect is admittedly infinitesimal. Completely insignificant, in the grand scheme of things. But it is ALL I can do, legally. I Chose to exercise my rights to the Fullest extent of the law. And because my influence and impact is so tiny, it is ever more important to ME that I exercise it.
Daylight is the Best Disinfectant. Be aware. Be informed. Be Concerned.
Debbie and I, Chris Cloud, want to motivate the citizens of Fauquier County to attend Community Meetings, to know, be aware, and be informed of proposed changes to the slice of paradise we call home. Whether you are for or against any proposal, the important thing is to be Informed! We recognize the positive position we are in; one of being concerned with Limiting growth, rather than contending (as so many communities are) with contracting demographics and budget shortfalls. We are blessed with opportunity. With Prosperity.
The CLOUD Difference is Debbie’s and my desire to facilitate decisions, either pro growth, development and expansion, or pro conservation, regulation, and throttling. Our desire is to promote Educated citizens.
We are available for collaboration and to discuss ideas!