Kirk Kardashian is a freelance journalist based in Woodstock, Vermont. A frequent contributor to Seven Days, the alternative weekly paper in Burlington, Kirk also writes for Bicycling, Skiing, Mountain Sports and Living, Rowing News, Vermont Digger, and many other publications. Kirk is also an adjunct professor at Green Mountain College, in Poultney, Vermont, where he teaches environmental law and land use.

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In a world that worships economic activity, doing right by the earth is often more time consuming and expensive—either in actual dollars or opportunity cost—than succumbing to our manifest destiny. The same rule applies when conserving land: if it’s not financially advantageous, it often doesn’t happen. The question, then, is how to make open …

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