For the first time in decades, we are saving twice as much land as we are developing. Thanks to the collaborative work of state environmental agencies and conservation organizations, no longer is Bay State open space gobbled up at the rate of 40 acres a day. For every acre developed, two are protected.
The bad news is that new houses being built today are bigger and more energy-intensive than ever, and the growth of Sprawl Frontier continues to threaten many of our more rural communities and watershed areas.
Over the past 40 years, the landscape of Massachusetts has been transformed by new residential and commercial development. Virtually every community has experienced rapid growth driven by economic and demographic forces.
Mass Audubon's Losing Ground series has analyzed these changes using the most up-to-date technology and methods since 1991. Losing Ground IV (released May 18, 2009) examines both recent changes in land use, as well as the ecological impacts of development.
View Land Use Statistics
Explore Massachusetts land protection by town, county, watershed, Regional Planning Agency (RPA), or ecoregion, including data on land use, development, amount of land protected, ecological integrity, as well as changes over time.
View Interactive Land Use Maps
These maps show land use data in several forms.
Download Losing Ground
Download the current edition of Losing Ground, either by section or complete, as well as earlier editions.
Additional information on land use, and how you can help shape the future of your community.
We welcome feedback on this edition of Losing Ground, as well as on the tools and resources we've created here.