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.

Losing Ground, Fourth Edition (published May 2009)

Beyond the Footprint showed a reversed trend of land development and conservation with 40 acres of open space being protected every day and the loss of 20 acres, but with development impacts outside of building footprints at 80 acres a day.

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At a Glance 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).

Losing Ground, Third Edition (published November 2003)

At What Cost? illustrated that between 1985 and 1999 Massachusetts lost 40 acres of open space per day with significant accompanying changes in land use and impacts on habitat, biodiversity, and ecosystem services.

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Losing Ground, Second Edition (published May 1999)

The Analysis of Recent Rates and Patterns of Development and Their Effects on Open Space in Massachusetts revealed a Commonwealth losing 44 acres of open space per day, primarily to large-lot residential development.

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Losing Ground, First Edition (published October 1987)

The Case for Land Conservation in Massachusetts demonstrated that over 100,000 acres of land was lost to development between 1981 and 1986.

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