Losing Ground Report

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Over the past 40 years, the landscape of Massachusetts has been transformed by new residential and commercial development. Eastern and southeastern Massachusetts have undergone the most change, but virtually every community in the Commonwealth has experienced rapid growth driven by economic and demographic factors.

Starting in 1991, Mass Audubon has analyzed these changes every five years using the most up-to-date technology and methods, providing conservationists, town planners, and agencies with information for planning and advocacy. The results are published in our Losing Ground reports.

Losing Ground, Fifth Edition

Released in June 2014, Losing Ground: Planning for Resilience (Fifth Edition) reports on the pace and patterns of land development and land protection in Massachusetts between 2005 and 2013. 

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Summary Facts

At-a-glance statistics from the report on land use patterns in Massachusetts.

Land Use Statistics

Explore Massachusetts land protection statistics by town, county, watershed, Regional Planning Agency (RPA), or eco-region, including data on land use, development, amount of land protected, ecological integrity, as well as changes over time.

Interactive Land Use Maps

View maps showing land use, recent development, protection, and ecological impact are available by town, county, ecoregion, watershed, and regional planning association (RPA).

Resources to Learn More

View a glossary of key terms.

Previous Losing Ground Editions

In 1987, Mass Audubon’s Advocacy Department initiated the publication Losing Ground. The series has resulted in increased state funding for open space conservation and a reversal of trends in open space protection and land development in Massachusetts. The conclusions of the reports have become the data of record in state administration, legislative, media, and land trust community citations. View the reports.

Take Action

As a result of Losing Ground, Mass Audubon launched the award-winning Shaping the Future of Your Community program, which helps communities understand, formulate, adopt, and implement tools for charting a more sustainable future through customized community workshops and direct assistance. Learn more