Editor’s note: This article, reprinted from the Gaucho Gazette student newspaper, is part of a four-piece package on the relationship between preservation and industrialization.
By PACO VILLEGAS
CASA GRANDE HIGH SCHOOL
As human beings, we are destined to progress. Improvements in technology have not rested since the Industrial revolution first gripped America in the late 1700s, and roads, factories, and houses have sprung like uncultivated wildflowers in a green meadow which we call the United States. In California alone, population has dramatically increased since the start of the 1900 and the demand for supplies, food, and land is more severe than ever before. This country, which first began as large tobacco plantations, and mile-long corn fields, has spectacularly changed; farms no longer dominate the land and cities are quickly taking control. Mr. Mander, a ninth grade Physical Science teacher, is entirely aware of these striking transformations and makes it clear that striving for preservation is the best answer to a healthier future.
“We need to preserve,” said Mander, “If we go away from an agricultural based economy it will be a detriment.” This country was originally driven by farmers and planters, and instead of building on the land, Mander believes that “we should use the land, and maintain its soil.”
With only a limited amount of useful farming space still available it is difficult for farmers to compete against bigger industries, especially when they are required to move locations.
“You can’t just move big farms. The location is important; the soil is fertile,” said Mander.
Although farming and industry have always been at odds, the pinnacle of their dispute is occurring right now, and over-population is a determining factor.
“The battle has strengthened; population has increased,” said Mander.
California has been severely affected by urban growth, and although small cities like Petaluma are safe, big cities are growing as fast as their population.
“Urban sprawl is not happening here in Petaluma, the urban growths boundaries prevent it from become even bigger, but in larger cities such as Sacramento and Concord the empty lots and fields are being filled,” said Mander.
Despite the aggressive expansion of cities, there are still companies who make it a priority to preserve the land in order to benefit their industry.
“A good example of people trying to conserve land for business is the California dairy farms, which are typically passed down through family generations,” said Mander.
Aware of the threats of industrialization, Mander does what he can to implement preservation strategies: “I buy California products, I garden in my house, and I recycle and reuse everything.”
English Teacher, Mr. D’Angelo, understands both sides of the argument and feels that the only answer to the dispute is to “come to some sort of balance between the two; we cant just destroy land, but you don’t want to freeze in the dark either.”