Don’t Urbanize More Farmland

Mark Robinowitz is a community treasure. His recent letter (“Our environmental watchdogs have become lap dogs,” 12/29) makes a serious point regarding the lack of outrage from or any of our most-concerned environmental groups at the city of Eugene’s Dec. 20 decision to urbanize farmland as far out as Junction City.

“No climate activist spoke at the public hearing in October,” he writes, except himself, of course. “We need to protect farmland so people can eat as fossils deplete,” he goes on, giving us a rhyme to remember the line. Even if not used for food, farmland and open space are needed for planting more trees to absorb CO2, build healthier soils and sustain biodiversity, which can be accomplished even by leaving the land alone to “rewild.”

More houses, more roads, more industrial development — which, logically, underlie the city’s decision — may bring more tax dollars, but using our precious farmland for those ends will make us less resilient and less prepared for the climate emergency and socio-economic restructuring we know are coming. The inevitable rise in air pollution, the loss of groundwater and an increase in gas-generated electricity only compound the problem.

Jack Cooper


Editor’s note: To learn about the city of Eugene’s urban reserves and provide public comment, go to

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