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Study: Arizona Losing Natural Land To Development

John Kees

Hundreds of miles of open land in Arizona are being replaced by human development. That’s according to analysis by the think-tank, Center For American Progress. Arizona Public Radio’s Aaron Granillo reports.

The center looked at a decade of data between 2001 and 2011. It found during that period, more than 370 squares miles of Arizona’s private, public, and state lands were developed. That’s nearly six times the size of Flagstaff.

The Center for American Progress released the data in a report titled, “The Disappearing West.” It teamed up with a non-profit group of scientists to analyze satellite imagery across 11 states.

Their research shows housing and commercial buildings accounted for most of the new growth on Arizona’s open land. Transportation was the second biggest factor.

Overall, the center says human development covers more than 165,000 square miles of land in the west, enough to cover the entire state of California. 

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