Environmentalists are making some audacious claims in its effort to preserve 1 million acres of open space by 2009:

Margaret Hartzell, who works with Environmental North Carolina, a private advocacy group, said an average of nearly 400 acres is developed in the state each day.

North Carolina is on its way to catching big states such as Ohio and Michigan in population in the next few decades, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and all those people take up space.

“It’s just an astounding number,” Hartzell said. “We just continue to build strip malls and parking lots.”

In fact, each person moving to the state takes up an estimated 2 acres by the time all is said and done, Nicholson said. That means less land is available to preserve.

Anybody else find that hard to believe? Under that logic, we all should wake up tomorrow morning and find Heart of the Triad to be full-blown reality.

I’m also missing the logic here:

The preservation effort also is a way for people to have a greater voice in development, she said. Often, residents watch as land is developed and assume they have no say in how their community will look in the future, she said, but with mechanisms available to preserve land, that’s not the case.

OK, it’s true that if you walk up and talk to the average person on the street about land development, they give you a strange look. But as one who has attended a fair share of government meetings where development is on the agenda, I was always impressed by the number of citizens who turned out to have their say about the way their community should look in the future.