News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, March 26, 2010

Treepocalypse Now: Another Meeting, Another Massive PDF to Enjoy

As the massive stream deforestation restoration project prepares to move north of the Toll Road, the Reston Association and Wetland Studies and Solutions Inc. is holding another meeting from 9:30-noon on Saturday at Lake Anne Elementary.

In the meantime, take a gander at this fancy PDF on your PDF machine. Sadly for those of us without plans on Friday night, it's not another 355-page document like the magnum opus involving the Comstock Wiehle Metro development we shared earlier in the week. Clocking in at a svelte 73 pages, this document is perfect for happy hour!

Anyhoo, like 99 percent of people who are forced to endure a PowerPoint presentation, we mostly looked at the pictures. Here are some of our favorite NSFT (Not Safe For Trees) images from the presentation:

Screen shot 2010-03-25 at 10.29.13 PM.jpg
A before and after shot of one of the South Reston "reaches." Something seems to be missing in the shot on the right.

Screen shot 2010-03-25 at 10.32.16 PM.jpg
This is one of many shots showing exposed utility pipes, manholes and other damage around Colvin Run. And also the roving packs of feral dog-beasts prepared to pounce on safety blaze-wearing victims without warning.

Screen shot 2010-03-25 at 10.29.48 PM.jpg
This shows how the streams have changed since Reston was built. The streams must be a mess -- look at how all that water pooled into a foul, brackish mess in the picture on the right!

Screen shot 2010-03-25 at 10.31.23 PM.jpg
Here's a before and after shot that gives you a real sense of the work that's done in the restoration process.

And here's the money shot -- literally -- of the financial benefit of the process to Reston.
– Phase I: $70 million Restoration
– $450,000 to Reston Association
– $950,000 to Friends of Reston
– $3 million of new bridges for Reston
– Reduced dredging costs for RA lakes
– $5 million Catastrophic Event Fund
We've never seen all the benefits of the process spelled out so explicitly. And if we didn't know, chances are critics of the process didn't either.


  1. Hey, unlike some unenlightened Restonians who have never been out in that "ucky, bug infested, drainage ditch" , I actually recognize some of the locations in the photos as being in my neighborhood and as my favorite nature spots . . . better go to the meeting to see what they're planning . . .

  2. The brouhaha that followed the scorched-earth renovation of Snakeden pulled a major response. As a result, Save the Glade was able to minimize damage.

    At the end, Snakeden was clear-cut because few showed at the meetings. Those that did opined "keep the trails open." So the access went through the trees.

    Torch and pitchfork bearing mobs of Save the Glade said "save the trees." So construction access was via the pipeline and over the trails.

    So, folks from the more desirable North Reston, show up at the meetings. Don't forget your pitchfork. Tar and feathers should be held in reserve.

  3. Anon 1:14

    There were no meetings before Snake Den Treepopolyse!

    Adjacent clusters were never notified or consulted.

    One figure missing is the millions that Rolband made selling mitigation credits to developers.

    So Mike, how much did you make using RA's land?

  4. As a frequent user of south Reston's wooded trails (and no, not an MS-13 member!), I must say that 1 year on, Treepocalypse has been a qualified success. Yes, too many trees were cut and the streams are too exposed to sun, but compared to the eroded chasms they were, the streams seem to handle heavy rains better and the appearance is certainly more idyllic.

  5. Anon 7:08

    What would you expect from a Disneyfied stream valley, nee baby deer nursery?

    First, Rolband's megmachines scared the rats throughout the neighboring clusters.

    Now, we'll have a continuing Lyme disease factory!

  6. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonMarch 26, 2010 at 11:07 PM

    Anon 9:18:

    We can pin a distinct share of the blame for the out-of-control deer population in Reston on (who else) the Reston Association. This is not mindless RA-bashing. The RA took to Fairfax County Court two Reston homeowners who had been using an organization of skilled bowhunters, Suburban Whitetail Management, to control the deer that were coming onto their private property. Unfortunately for nanny RA, the Archery Trade Association supported the court case of the homeowners. RA lost the case in December 2007, and in its usual infinite wisdom and squandering of assets, then filed an appeal with the Virginia Supreme Court. It lost in that court as well the following year, and was also ordered to pay $58,000 in court costs. Milt Matthews was really proud that because of its insurance policy the RA had to pay "only" $10,000 of that amount itself. Your RA assessment at work.

    RA then did what it does so well: game the system. It rewrote the regulations to grandfather in the two original homeowners but make it virtually impossible for anyone else to conduct a hunt on their property by 1) forbidding a hunt within 50 yards of another house or 75 yards of a road (how many properties in Reston are on lots more than 225 feet wide/long?); 2) requiring that homeowners who conduct a hunt add the RA as an additional insured party for liability coverage on their homeowners insurance policy; and 3) notify everyone living within a quarter-mile of their house about the proposed hunt.

    I cannot personally verify the following, but someone who has no ax to grind and who was at one of the meetings when these regulations were discussed told me that the driving force behind these restrictions was the RA board president prior to Smyers, because that individual was a vegetarian and couldn't bear to think about culling Bambi. Apparently a lot of the actual RA staff did want to approve thinning out the deer, since they saw first-hand the destruction the deer were causing to the habitat for other wildlife.

    So, next time you hit a deer while driving, your kid gets Lyme disease from a deerborne tick, or your garden is destroyed by deer, be sure to thank the RA for their constructive role.

    The Reston Connection ran a good story on the court cases that can be viewed at:

  7. Peasant,

    I'm not going to comment on weather it is a good idea to cull Reston's deer population, but as a parent of small children I will say that letting people shoot firearms off in a residential area as dense as Reston is a really, really bad idea. Bullets (and arrows) don't stop when they get to a property line.

  8. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonMarch 28, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    Anon 9:18:

    I fully understand and respect your concerns, especially since you are a parent.

    But to expound a bit on what I wrote earlier, first of all, absolutely no firearms are used by the hunters affiliated with Suburban Whitetail Management (SWM); they are strictly and only bowhunters, so there would not be any stray bullets flying over Reston, which would scare the hell out of me as well.

    Second, SWM's method of hunting is to use portable tree stands that put the hunter 10 to 20 feet above ground. The hunter shoots at a downward angle at a target deer an average of no more than 20 yards away on the property in question, not at a neighboring property. So, arrows will not be flying across property lines or roadways.

    Third, SWM members are not a bunch of Elmer Fudds or liquored-up yahoos like those in "Deliverance". Their members include, among others, an FBI agent, a Marine, a teacher, and a business owner. These are serious, skilled hunters, not weekend warriors. To become and remain a member of SWM, they are tested annually on being able to put two of three arrows into a six-inch target circle at a range of 30 yards.

    I am not a member of SWM (nor a hunter myself) and am not trying to shrill for it. But I do think managed hunts are among the tools needed to control the explosion in the deer population in NoVA, including Reston. I also think appropriate regulations on hunting should fall within the purview of the experts at the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, not the amateurs at the RA.

  9. Anon 9:18

    How would you propose we deal with the overabundance of lyme bearing rats with antlers?

  10. From my science classes, I recall that the way nature always deals with over-population is through predation, disease or famine. As long as the predators are professional human hunters, I'll take predators.

    As long as the rules are written by RA, they can be rescinded by RA. I'm a little leary about having bow hunters in my backyard but, as long as I'm notified that they're out there, I suppose that I could probably work around them.

    I wonder if we could deal with this like we deal with rats: poison traps? Say we put out a salt lick heavily laced with Warfarin that is heavily monitored. I suppose that won't work because the animal will wander off before it dies.

  11. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonMarch 28, 2010 at 10:59 PM


    Suburban Whitetail Management only hunts where a property owner has specifically invited it to do so. The group does not show up unannounced and univited on anyone's property.

    Interesting and accurate what you write about how nature deals with overpopulation. There is specific scientific evidence that deer populations are subject to an emerging infectious disease known as chronic wasting disease, similar to mad cow disease. According to the CDC, it's epidemic in the area where Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming meet, and there is another large outbreak as far east as the Wisconsin-Illinois border. Sporadic cases have been found elsewhere in the U.S., including as close to us as Hampshire County, West Virginia (just west of Winchester). From what I've read about how the disease progresses in deer over several months, an archer's arrow seems a lot more humane than an agonizing death from this disease.

  12. Balance says:

    OK, we have now heard from one side of the argument. How about some balance?

    Let's start with honesty. The few Restonians who are intense in promoting their desire to kill deer (does anyone seriously consider this a "hunt"?) are pissed off by the deer eating their shurbs, bushes, and plants. That's the beginning and end of their motivation.

    So, it comes down to a conflict between those who prefer to see wildlife free to roam in what is left of their natural habitat and those who want to be free of nature's encroachment.

    An excessive number of deer competing for limited sustenance is bad for the entire deer population. Effectively thinning the "herd" would be good for all, but these few backyard kill zones don't even approach "thinning". The argument comes up because it sounds like something noble. It's b.s.

    Lyme disease. Ah, another noble motive for the kill. Black foot tick larvae feed on mice, the source of the bacterium that leads to Lyme disease. As they develop, the ticks attach themselves to tall grasses, brush, and shrubs. Passing hosts (birds, dogs, cats, squirrles, deer and humans) make contact with the grasses and pick up the ticks and pass them along.

    If one wants to eradicate Lyme disease, we could prohibit walks in the woods. We could include in the kill zone any human or animal who has been in the woods. We could authorize archers to take out the real menace, the white-footed mouse. Killing a few rose bush-eating deer will not interrupt the chain of bacteria passage. So, let's not praise these noble gardners for preventing disease.

    What the "hunt" proponents do not tell you is that the kill is not nearly as surgical as their story would tell it. Deer do not fall over on the spot. At best they will run a short distance before bleeding to death. Maybe they will go down on the property of the person who authorized it. More than likely, not. (They could run for miles, where they will find a nest to slowly die or merely suffer from wounds until back on their feet.) The worst scenario has the wounded deer scampering off to the rear deck of the family down the street, where the kids can see another of nature's glories, the triumph of man over plant-eater. If fortunate, they will actually see the uninvited archers coming up to drag the beast away.

    Having the whole picture laid out before taking sides in this conflict sure makies it inconvenient, but in the interest of balance, I've added a few tiles to the mosaic.

  13. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonMarch 29, 2010 at 10:11 AM


    Oh please. Don't let any facts get in the way of your opinions.

    From the Centers for Disease Control Website, found at:

    "Some communities have explored the reduction of white-tailed deer through regulated hunting or controlled hunts to reduce problems associated with deer overabundance, particularly related to Lyme disease. A major question has been how far deer densities must be lowered to reduce tick exposure and human disease. The incremental removal, reduction or elimination of deer has clearly been shown to substantially reduce tick abundance in many studies. Observational studies and computer models suggest that a reduction of deer densities to less than twenty deer per square mile may significantly reduce tick bite risk, while lower levels (~8 deer/mi2) would interrupt the enzootic cycle of Lyme disease and transmission of B. burgdorferi to wildlife and humans. Fewer ticks have been reported at deer densities less than 18 animals/mi2 in one study."

    I notice no counter-argument on your part to the issue I raised in passing in my first comment, that of automobile accidents caused by deer. A State Farm Insurance study in 2005 listed Virginia as seventh out of all 50 states in the number of deer-car collisions. The Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Hampton Roads reported in 2007 that VDOT estimates 30,000 deer-car collisions in the state.

    Facts can be almost as pesky as deer.

  14. Obviously, what Reston needs is more coyotes.

    And if they take out my neighbor's annoying little rat-dogs, so much the better.

  15. Balance = unbalanced

    It seems that you are anthropomorphizing these animals.

    The herd in NOVA is way to large. It needs to be reduced dramatically. Right now automobiles on whielie ave are doing the heavy lifting.

    Bowhunters might kill the animals in a way that is less than instantaneous but it is much more humane than an H2 from Northpoint speeding along whielie to get to the toll road.

    Seriously, there are way too many deer and unfortunately too many people like balance who see "wild-life" and don't really care for the welfare of the species, they just want to look out their back window and say "ooh look kids a deer!" and not be concerned with the fact that the animal is stressed out from over crowding, lack of proper environment, poor diet, and suffering from malnurishment and disease.

    A seasonal cull in Reston would be a big step in the right direction. Sanctioned by the county and RA with only these specialist bow-hunters operating in limited areas with the meat processed and either split with the hunter and the land owner or donated to food banks.

    -full disclosure- Not a hunter

  16. Balance says: Oh, dear. So many negative comments, I can't begin to tic them off.

    Common ground: I stated in my offending drivel that more deer than the land can support is a bad thing and effective thinning of the herd would be good for the deer and our species.

    Common ground: there is, indeed, evidence that deer are carriers of the ticks that transmit bacteria leading to Lyme disease.

    Common ground: Lyme disease is an awful, nasty ailment.

    Common ground: Unlicensed and poorly trained deer on our roadways lead to damage and injury, and sometimes fatal accidents.

    Unresolved: the folks who would engage trained archers to eliminate the deer that enter their property do so to protect the sustainable herd, to protect themselves and others from Lyme disease, and/or are concerned about the hazard to drivers.

    Unresolved: their real (and documented) gripe is that the deer are eating their costly and highly desirable plantings.

    My original purpose in writing was to suggest to others that the question is not as clear cut as many would cast it. The facts (pesky as they may be) begin with the statements of the two petitions for the RA to allow the arrows to fly. The starting point was destroyed landscaping. No question about those facts, the residents raised this as their first concern. No question that deer had eaten the plantings. So, I ask, if this is the only basis on which you would vote to grant an exemption for the discharge of weapon in a high density residential area, how would you vote?

    I know, the petition was for the use of crossbows, not rifles. I would point out that the Fairfax police who "manage" deer in our large parks do so with rifles, not crossbows, so you can decide which is the better/safer weapon.

    I appreciate that Peasant went to some effort to support his/her opinion. And he/she added a few facts to the mix. One fact from the same source (CDC) not reported is that Lyme disease is found in areas with no known deer population. Reading the words used to relate the results of the research, we see "a major question" (i.e., no conclusion) "in many studies" (not all) "may significantly reduce".

    This is not to deny that deer carry ticks or that the obvious is not true (fewer deer = fewer ticks.) But it tells only part of the story. People walking in the woods, trails, and forests (and Rudolph knows we have more than a few of those folks in Reston) also pick up ticks from the grasses. So do household pets, squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, and birds. (Not to mention the mice who are at the root of the disease.) We, in fact, have no evidence of the extent to which deer contribute to reported cases of Lyme disease. We can only imagine and postulate.

    Balance's secondary point is that the proposed culling is a fantasy. To make any substantial dent in the deer population, we would need to have an extensive program. That is not at all what has been proposed. We are talking about two homeowners who, if lucky, might score a few kills each year. Does anyone call this a deer management effort? Piffle.

    HCKD, I am not comforted by your disclosure that you are not a hunter. I can't equate the activity discussed here with "hunting". Trapping maybe. Pest extermination perhaps. But this is not hunting. My discomfort is your statement that there are way too many deer and too many people like Balance....a seasonal cull would be a big step in the right direction. Should I be watching the seasons more closely to know when I should avoid you (or people like you, whatever that means)? Really, I prefer not to be on the culling list. The ease with which you developed such awesome insight into my preference for roaming wildlife over the well-being of our species is the reason I post here in the first place. When half-baked opinions are delivered as reality, and go unchallenged, we are worse off than having no information at all. I'm just looking for balance. (And, I suppose that now you will be, too.)

  17. Balance:

    Hunting: the pursuit and killing or capture of wild animals regarded as a sport.

    The thought of a deer being killed by a trained marksman may not comport with your romanticized notions of what hunting is or should be. The fact is inescapable that it is in fact hunting as the activity is properly understood to be.

    Your humorous misinterpretation of my comment regarding culling of the deer herd aside, it is patently obvious that you are not in fact at all interested in "balance" and chose to engage in advancing your agenda (as do we all here on this filthy web-log) which makes you somewhat of a hypocrite.

    It does not matter to me that a homeowner wants to have some nuisance animals destroyed because his prized begonias have been eaten because the fact remains that there are simply too many deer.

    The herd needs to be culled drastically. Better an arrow than an H2, and better still that the animal's body is used for some benefit, rather than rotting along the side of Wheile avenue.

  18. Aside: Did you REALLY take my meaning of 'species' to refer to the Human species? I was of course referring to the species: Odocoileus virginianus.

    If people were truly concerned about the welfare of the deer, they would realize that these poor creatures are in fact quite miserable in our suburban habitat.

    The animals are too populous for the limited space they have, are forced to compete for scant resources. This results in stressed out animals that carry disease and wind up as road kill.

    It seems to me that some people value the ability to look out their back window and see a deer over the actual welfare of the species Odocoileus virginianus.


    p.s. An edit function would be sweet.

  19. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonMarch 30, 2010 at 9:22 AM


    I don't know if you were being intentionally or unintentionally humorous, but I'll give you all due credit that in a discussion on Lyme disease you worked in the phrase "I can't begin to 'tic' them off." Good one!

  20. Maybe we should approach this from the other side of the equation. Maybe there aren't too many deer but too many people. I really think that there are too many people for the existing deer poopulation, that our local ecosystem would be greatly improved by FEWER people, not more as is currently planned and that if people would show some restraint in their breeding practices (which the deer can't), we might all -- deer included -- be able to better get along.

    Help cull the herd: keep abortion legal.

  21. Hate to interupt this humorfest . . . did anyone go to the meeting? What are they proposing to do?

  22. convict

    can we help you pack? that would reduce the human population by at least 1.

    There are not enough people. Given our job base there should be many more people in FFX (7-8k per square mile like Arlington & Alexandria, instead of 2.5K in FFX). That would crowd out the deer.

    We are just dense enough to keep deer predators away but not dense enough to keep the deer away.
    If the people were fewer, the other predators of deer would be sufficiently numerous to hold down the deer numbers.

    The deer around here are too damn healthy. If they were stressed and diseased, they wouldn't be reproducing in numbers sufficient to constitute vermin.

    There's actually a deer shortage in PA.

    BTW, dog ticks, the big ones you can see, don't carry the Lyme disease pathogen.

  23. Gotta love, 2:30: the problem is that we don't have enough people. Are you going to complain that we have too few people when it takes 20 minutes just to cross the bridge over the Access highway on Reston Parkway? I ask because that seems to be in our not-too-distant future.

    Here's an idea in the same vain. Why not just clear cut Reston? No trees = no deer and no predators. All of this green ambience that we've got going on here is greatly overrated.

  24. Anon 2:30 the facts do not support your argument.

    "In Virginia, white-tailed deer number about 1 million. Biologists estimate that an area's carrying capacity--the point at which the deer population is in balance with the habitat that sustains it -- is, at most, 20 deer per square mile. In parts of the metro area, there may be as many as 200 deer per square mile; at one point, Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville had an estimated 400 per square mile."

    full story: //

  25. Balance says:

    Peasant - I was hoping for "double word points" by beginning with, "Oh, dear." Thanks for noticing.

  26. convict

    arlington and alexandria aren't clear cut, yet have 7-8k per square mile. DC isn't clear cut yet has 9k per square mile.

    Now, if you want to clear cut, we could get to manhattan's 66k per square mile and still have Central park, battery park, van cortland park and all the other parks on manhattan.

    Your people hating xenophobic hyperbole does nothing for you or the rest of us.

    Reston is about 6k per square mile and is planned for 8.3k per square mile.

    Do we need more roads in Reston, especially bridges across the Toll Road? Bet your ass!

  27. Anon 7:43

    Minor correction - Van Cortland Park is in the Bronx, not Manhattan.

  28. HCKD

    good try, not!

    The article actually makes my point more strongly than I did, thusly:

    "In fact, it may be exurbia -- sprawl -- that caused the deer population to explode, particularly in places with large houses on one-, two- or 10-acre lots. The typical exurban subdivision is a ready-made deer park. A single property may contain woods, water and lawn, everything a deer needs for cover and comfort. And it may be the skyrocketing number of deer in exurban areas that is propelling them into the city."

    Game, set, match. Your abject acknowledgment of grievous error goes is anticipated with joy.

  29. Anon 8:01

    thank you. I was thinking of Inwood Hill Park.

    Anon 7:43

  30. And another thing:

    The article in the post also makes 3/26 9:18's point about the Snake Den treepocalyse even better than that author did:

    "Deer are what's known as an edge species. They can exist in many environments, but they prefer boundary regions between woods and grasslands. The deep center of a mature forest is not ideal for deer. They do better at the edge of a forest, where sunlight and ground vegetation are abundant, and where they can venture to browse in the open but retreat easily into cover. And what is suburbia but edge? Little patches of forest that give way to lovely little patches of fertilized grass, ringed with tasty daylilies? "

    What was Snake Den before the treepocalyse? A closed canopy woodland aka the deep center of mature woodland. A place dee avoided.

    So thanks, Mike Rolband, Larry Butler, Ms. McKee et al. You've turned an area that deer used to avoid into a deer nursery. Congratulations!!

    Do we send the bills for rat extermination and treating our Lyme Disease and to Rolband or RA?

    Note Rolband and RA aren't do clear cutting in the Glade. Maybe they learned from their very gross mistake.

  31. Anonymous wrote: "Your people hating xenophobic hyperbole does nothing for you or the rest of us."

    We are a species of 6,500,000,000 and well on our way to 9,000,000,000 by 2050, if Al Gore's numbers are to be believed. We as a species are already engaged in a number of internecine conflicts over natural resources. In fact, many would argue that the whole US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan is about oil. I firmly believe that, as the world's natural resources become scarcer and with more people competing for them, we are going to see an increase in these resource based conflicts.

    Now, maybe you don't believe that the human animal has overpopulated the world and is engaged in the systematic destruction of its (and every other critter's) habitat with its reckless over-breeding. If you look around you, though, the evidence is everywhere, including our muave mecca which was carved out of some of Virginia's finest old growth forests. The deforestation of the Amazon jungle is clear and evident, as is the destruction of the Everglades. I suspect that we will see the last of the polar bear and the Arctic white seal in our lifetime, except for maybe in zoos. And if you read the WaPo, the population of Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna and several species of shark might become extinct thanks to humanity.

    In my opinion, the population pressures and increased housing densities that are happening in Reston are just one facet of this gem we call overpopulation. To deny that humans can overpopulate an area including Reston (or the world, for that matter) is just pure folly. Adding more people doesn't improve the local ecosystem. It destroys it. If you doubt that, I suggest you go live in a concrete jungle for a few years.

    I care very much about what happens to humanity and to the rest of the critters on the earth. And if the only way I can help stem the tide of world overpopulation is by advocating for population limits on my local habitat, then I'm okay with that. If that makes me a people hating xenophobe (or a tree-hugging, social engineering, socialist), then so be it. But you, anonymous, who doesn't seem to care at all about the environment, are a fracking idiot.

    Remember, nature takes care of overpopulation through plague, pestilence, famine and predation. War, in my opinion, is just a form of predation without a meal card.

  32. Convict

    If you're going to quote Paul Erlich and his totally discredited "Population Bomb" at least give him credit. His predictions were wrong! Or is it Malthus your quoting whose predictions were also wrong. Both of them regular Nostradmus'.

    Al Gore! Yeah he's a real environmentalist except he doesn't believe in ZPG: he had 3 kids.

    Most of your screed won't bear examination.

    Not only do I care more about the environment than you. Unlike you, I actually know something about it.

    The population of most Europe, Russia & Japan is falling as is the natural increase of the US and most other industrialized countries. Some parts of humanity still have high growth rates, particularly those societies were women's rights are sharply curtailed or were illiteracy abounds but world wide population growth is leveling off and there no evidence that the carrying capacity of the globe, on a world wide basis, has been approached.

    Reston was not carved out of old growth forest. It was a farm that grew the crops to make Bowman's Virginia Gentleman Bourbon. Whatever "old growth" was around here, after the Native Americans cleared their fields, was gone before the French and Indian War.

    This area was massively deforested by plantations before the Civil War and what was left was used by the blue and grey for firewood, rail ties for trains and shelter.

    Today we have more trees in the eastern United States than existed in Pocahontas' lifetime.

    The everglades are making a comeback. Look at pictures of Pittsburgh and London from 75 years ago and you know we've got cleaner air. The Cuyahoga hasn't caught fire in decades.Stormwater runoff is cleaner than it was 40 years ago when stormwater detention ponds were oddities.

    The polar bear is an adaptation of the grizzly and it will probably adapt again. We have put catch limits to preserve fish species and will again. White tails and beavers were almost extinct in 1900. Now they're both considered vermin.

    All of your rationalizations have been spouted to justify exclusionary zoning in the past. They've been disproven.

    The more folks live in close proximity to their job, the less air pollution is generated by long commutes powered by internal combustion engines. And the more time parents have to spend with their kids. That means higher density around job centers and not the exclusionary zoning that forces Reston workers to travel to Martinsburg, Hagerstown and Harrisburg to find a single family home that they can afford.

    The carrying capacity of Reston and its environs is higher than 6k per acre, or 8.3k per acre. No one is suggesting a higher density than that.

    Too many "environmentalists" just want the rest of us to get out of their life, their neighborhood, their highway, their park, so that they can have whatever "it" is, all to themselves.


  33. So, in short, if I understand you correctly, you don't believe that there's a threat of human overpopulation, you believe that the human population will level out with the expansion of equal rights to women, you believe that we are not depleting our natural resources, you believe that there are now more trees in Nortern Virginia than there was a century ago, you believe that the world's ecosystem including most of the endangered species is going to rebound and you believe that putting higher density housing here in Reston is going to relieve population pressures in Martinsburg, Hagerstown and points west.

    There's so much wrong with what you have put in print, that I can't address it all. I will say, however, that the overwhelming majority of North Reston (especially east of Reston Parkway/Seneca Road) was forest, all of RTC was forest, most of South Reston was forest. I suspect that the farms to which you refer laid astride Route 7 and were clustered in the Lake Anne area and, for the most part, east of Hunter Mill Road.

    Unfortunately, it seems that we don't live in the same world . I guess that only will tell which of us is ultimately right. But mark my words, expansion of the population in Reston is not going to improve the quality of life here and there will be massive expansion of the populations to the west including LoCo, Clark County, Winchester and Frederick County.

  34. convict

    there may have been second growth woodland in some of the areas of which you speak immediately before home construction began, but Reston is built on Bowman's Sunset Hills farm. Go to the Reston Museum and see the history and the aerial photography from the 60s and earlier.

    Aerial photography also shows that there is more tree cover in NoVa now than when FFX led the state in milk production after WW II and most of its land then was pasture.

    There won't be massive population expansions in LoCo or Clark. Those localities downzoned most of their acreage to 10-50 acre minimum lot size.

    We live in the same world. You just don't want to see whats plainly in front of you because it doesn't conform to your intensely held worldview. It's a well understood psychological phenomenon.

  35. Anon 12:54 you are spouting rhetoric in contravention to the facts.

    You erroneously asserted: "Today we have more trees in the eastern United States than existed in Pocahontas' lifetime"

    This is patently false. There was a contiguous tree canopy from Maine to East Texas.

    "Between 1630 and the nadir of Eastern forests in the late 1800s, the East lost about 1,000 acres of forest a day"

    From today's Washington Post.

    Nice try, but just writing some bullshit on an internet board does not make it true.

    Facts make arguments much more persuasive.


  36. HCKD

    The Wapo article says the eastern forest is 68% of its former range but doesn't give a date for that measurement. Even your quote portion is consistent with the prior post. The eastern forest was at its nadir more than 110 years ago and has substantially recovered!

    There was an Atlantic Monthly article a few years back on the eastern forests where members of USFS said exactly what I posted. The deforestation of the eastern woodlands by pre-Columbian Native Americans had been grossly understated until recently.

    Some of the major Anglo-Native American conflicts of the 17th-19th century were over the desire of English settlers to take over vast acreages that the Native Americans had already cleared over the prior millenia. The book "Mayflower" goes into some detail on this point.

    The point of the Atlantic article was that since agriculture in the East was no longer competitve with the factory farms of the mid-west and plains, large tracts of land previously kept cleared for cropland and pasture were reverting to woodland. The WaPo article makes the same point.

    The Atlantic article even described suburbanization as a source of increased acreage in woodland as a result of new homeowners planting trees in front and backyards after moving in.

    Take those facts and smoke'em! And bullshit on you.

  37. Your contention is that since the end of the 19th century and now there is more forest in the East than when Pocohantas lived? Bullshit back on you.

    Link to your "article" please for a more authoritative argument.


  38. Never mind, I found your article for you. And double bullshit on you for mischaracterizing it.


    "The Indian disruptions, though extensive, were usually temporary. When Indians had used one area for a time, they often moved to another. Not so Europeans. Early logging was bad enough, but farmers cut down every tree as they cleared pasture, and then brought in grazing animals that ate the native grasses down to dirt. New plant species arrived in shipboard fodder: mulleins and mallows, for instance, and nightshades, stinging nettles, and dandelions. Other agricultural techniques left their own devastation. Instead of rotating crops, farmers planted corn year after year, and corn quickly exhausts soil. Colonial farmers often used fish as fertilizer—at the end of the eighteenth century, Cronon writes, a dollar could buy a thousand fish.

    This was merely a warm-up, however, for the destruction in the first century of the new republic. From 1780 to 1850 the population of the United States grew nearly eightfold, from nearly three million to about 23 million. It took about three acres of cropland to feed each person. For a while the trees that farmers cleared for fields met the nation's demand for timber, but in the second half of the nineteenth century lumber consumption rose from 5.4 billion to 44.5 billion board feet a year."


(If you don't see comments for some reason, click here).