Wilton folks get it

Wilton voters sent a strong message to those relatively few who remain opposed to using a small amount of public money to preserve open space: It’s our money, too, and nowadays we are the clear majority.

The Town Meeting vote to use $80,000 in taxpayers’ money for an easement on the Frye Farm on Abbott Hill was approved 221-91, a vote so lopsided it left us convinced that Wilton folks really get it: Open space is good for the health of a community, both economically and psychologically. It means, generally, fewer single-family homes, thus the economics.

Psychologically it gives a town something of which to be proud because, really, few of the 221 who backed this proposal were thinking about economics. Rather, they were thinking of leaving for the future something that, in too many other places, is disappearing or already gone.

We are a crowded planet because of our swing penchant for covering every square inch of land with … something.

Not in Wilton and not in many other New Hampshire communities, we are proud to say.

The Town Meeting arguments against the easement purchase really weren’t on point. Why should it matter that the Conservation Commission wasn’t unanimous? Must all votes be so in order for anything to be done? In that case, any vote on anything would fail short of unanimity and that isn’t our way.

And the easement devalues the land? To a developer, perhaps.

No, this was a very positive vote by 221 people who get it. The easement will be handled by a land trust and included in all future deeds, so protection is in perpetuity.

The plan is for High Mowing School to buy the land and donate some of its own to increase the size. We can think of no better steward.