Losing Ground 2020: Statistics

Town of Amherst

Sixth Edition

Published February 2020, Losing Ground: Nature's Value In A Changing Climate reports on the pace and patterns of land development and land protection in Massachusetts between 2012 and 2017.
These statistics describe changes in land use between 2012 and 2017. Estimates of acres of land converted from a natural state to a developed state can be found here, as well as the rate of development in comparison to other areas. Natural land consists of forest, wetland, and water; open land consists of agricultural areas, bare soil, beaches, barrens, or low vegetation; development includes low density residential and commercial/industrial/high density residential development. Percentage calculations are based on the state's total land area, excluding major waterbodies.
Rank in relation to other towns/cities is indicated.
There are 351 towns/cities in Massachusetts.

Statistic

Value

Rank in state

Total area of newly developed land from 2012 to 2017 (acres)
73
128
Total area of newly developed land from 2012 to 2017, standardized by town size (acres per square mile)
2.6
182
Total area of development (acres)
4,423
74
Total area of natural land (acres)
9,459
161
Total area of open land (acres)
3,713
19
Percent developed land
25 %
157
Percent natural land
53 %
254
Percent open land
21 %
12
Size of town in acres
17,786
96
Size of town in square miles
27.8
96
The level of protection for the area is summarized below. We also consider the proportion of important conservation resources that are protected in the area, including BioMap2 Core Habitat and Critical Natural Landscape, Green Infrastructure Network, and relatively climate change resilient land. Percentage calculations are based on the state's total land area, excluding major waterbodies.
Rank in relation to other towns/cities is indicated.
There are 351 towns/cities in Massachusetts.

Statistic

Value

Rank in state

Total area of permanently conserved land (acres)
5,984
71
Overall percent permanently conserved
34 %
71
Total area of newly conserved land from 2012 to 2019 (acres)
671
80
Total area of newly conserved BioMap2 Core Habitat (acres)
375
40
Total area of newly conserved BioMap2 CNL (acres)
350
77
Total area of newly conserved TNC resilient land (acres)
15
128
Total area of newly conserved GIN (acres)
671
80
Size of town in acres
17,786
96
Size of town in square miles
27.8
96
 

Fifth Edition

Released in June 2014, Losing Ground: Planning for Resilience reports on the pace and patterns of land development and land protection in Massachusetts between 2005 and 2013.
These statistics describe changes in land use between 2005 and 2013. Estimates of acres of land converted from a natural state to a developed state can be found here, as well as the rate of development in comparison to other areas. Natural land consists of forest, wetland, and water; open land consists of agricultural areas, bare soil, beaches, barrens, or low vegetation; development includes low density residential and commercial/industrial/high density residential development. Percentage calculations are based on the state's total land area, excluding major waterbodies.
Rank in relation to other towns/cities is indicated.
There are 351 towns/cities in Massachusetts.

Statistic

Value

Rank in state

Total area of new development (acres)
60
150
Total area of newly developed land from 2005 to 2013, standardized by town size (acres per square mile)
2.2
202
Natural land converted to development (acres)
17
208
Open land converted to development (acres)
42
85
The level of protection for the area is summarized below. We also consider the proportion of important conservation resources that are protected in the area, including BioMap2 Core Habitat and Critical Natural Landscape, and relatively climate change resilient land. Percentage calculations are based on the state's total land area, excluding major waterbodies.
Rank in relation to other towns/cities is indicated.
There are 351 towns/cities in Massachusetts.

Statistic

Value

Rank in state

Area protected 2005 - 2013 (acres)
293
121
Percent BioMap2 Core Habitat protected
57 %
100
Percent BioMap2 Critical Natural Landscape protected
56 %
108
Percent TNC resilient land protected
49 %
83
 

Fourth Edition

Released in May 2009, Losing Ground: Beyond the Footprint reports on the patterns of development and their impact on the Nature of Massachusetts, 1999 - 2005.
These statistics describe changes in land use between 1999 and 2005. Estimates of acres of land converted from a natural state to a developed state can be found here, as well as the rate of development in comparison to other areas. Natural land consists of forest, wetland, and water; development includes low density residential and commercial/industrial/high density residential development.
Rank in relation to other towns/cities is indicated.
There are 351 towns/cities in Massachusetts.

Statistic

Value

Rank in state

Natural land (acres) converted to development (1999-2005)
125
159
Total area of newly developed land from 1999 to 2005, standardized by town size (acres per square mile)
4.5
229
Acres protected for this area is shown below.
Rank in relation to other towns/cities is indicated.
There are 351 towns/cities in Massachusetts.

Statistic

Value

Rank in state

Acres protected (1999-2005)
266
114