I must admit to being quite surprised to be listening again to all the old anti-forestry arguments from the 1970s and 80s about rural depopulation, taking good land out of production, iconic landscapes being destroyed and the like. If I lived in a rural area and one of the neighbours left and was not replaced in the community, I might be personally affected and concerned. But it would be reasonable to assume that neighbour has made a rational decision to sell up and move on (or maybe stay in the area?). And the current rural environment is surely different to that of the 1970s – roads and cars are better and communications are vastly improved, with access to the internet via broadband. More urban people are also choosing the rural lifestyle. I have even heard it said that there are farmers in the Waikato who are upset that their neighbouring forest of pines has been replaced by a dairy farm, because of the loss of environmental values that those forests provided.
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