Friday, March 23, 2007

Lots for sale

Over the years I've had nightmares thinking about the possibility of the farm lands around Bosque Santa Lúcia being subdivided into residential lots. Think about it! A small forest reserve of 270 acres surrounded by spreading suburbia. A few days ago I nearly had a heart attack when I spotted this sign marking the outer limits of a subdivision called Planalto. The land is right across the road (really more of a trail) separating the Bosque from a large piece of land that goes all the way back to the federal highway, BR-163, three kilometers away. When we started the Bosque back in 1981, all of this land was occupied by small subsistence farmers eking out a living in an area without any amenities, not even a passable road during the rainy season. The owners of the two homesteads annexing the Bosque were anxious to sell their properties to me for next to nothing. Both ended up moving into the city and I think they would have accepted any offer in order to sell their places. Eventually the lands were bought up by a local politician, who deforested the lands to plant soybeans and rice. All the local people in the area suspected that he would eventually subdivide the area whenever electricity became available. It is more than coincidental that just as the power line is being built, this sign shows up. The neighbor's relatives deny that a subdivision is being planned. Another neighbor says that the Planalto subdivision is another one that begins south of BR-163 Highway. I'm still very suspicious because I see some stakes placed out in the field! Hum.

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