2008-01-10 / Letters to the Editor

Land trust board turns its back

This letter was sent to the Conanicut Island Land Trust and copied to the Jamestown Press.

I am extremely disappointed that the Conanicut Island Land Trust chose to withdraw their funds from purchasing the development rights of the Dutra and Neale Farms. It is too bad the Land Trust does not have the commitment and integrity the farmers have shown.

The Land Trust seems to have forgotten what the landowners have given the town is exactly what was agreed to. These properties will never house lots, there will never be a draw on our precious water supply, there will not be new roads to maintain, there will not be an increased need for fire and rescue services and we will not need more schools.

Having a beautiful view is a bonus. No changes were made to the agreement the voters approved unanimously in unprecedented numbers. Federal and state forms had to be filed. Any changes in the agreement would have ended this process.

Farming is a business. At the end of the day, bills need to be paid. It takes a lot of hard work 24/7 to make this happen and for the citizens of Jamestown to enjoy that beautiful view.

What I don't understand is why the Conanicut Island Land Trust would turn their backs on property owners when they went out of their way to meet the Land Trust's wishes.

Why was there a hastily called meeting of the Conanicut Island Land Trust two days before the closing?

Why didn't the Conanicut Island Land Trust have the decency and courage to inform the owners of what transpired at this meeting?

Why have they still not heard from anyone on the Conanicut Island Land Trust Board of Directors?

I am thankful for the commitment of the Town of Jamestown, the Champlin Foundation, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Environmental Management, and the Nature Conservancy for preserving these properties and a way of life that is fast disappearing.

Diana Wilcox


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