Reading the Landscape: 49

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Back in the 1950s, when planes taking off from Newark International Airport developed a bad habit of falling out of the sky onto downtown Elizabeth, NJ, there was talk of opening a new airport 20 miles west in Morris County. Environmentalists quickly mobilized, and not only blocked the project, but eventually managed to turn most of the land into the “Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge,” the very first of what would be hundreds all across the United States. Did their success have something to do with the way the new airport’s flight paths would have crossed over some of the wealthiest towns in the state? Undoubtedly, but it was a victory for everybody (including broke cyclists like me) who love the the wilderness.

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2 comments

  1. Can you get away from machine noise there? Machine noise is one of the greatest, under-recognized, consequences of the industrial age. Even the grave doesn’t protect you from it. It rattles the earth, too.

    1. If you hike into the woods, maybe. But the road going through the Great Swamp is usually full of gigantic SUVs.

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