Massachusetts, USA, 30 June 2006: State budget negotiators have endorsed a $400,000 project that will employ computer technology to create a state-of-the-art map detailing forests, parks, housing, roadways, and other features of the Massachusetts landscape. The new statewide map will greatly enhance land use planning by municipalities, public agencies, developers, homeland security officials, and conservation organizations.
Sponsored by Representative Douglas Petersen, the one-time expenditure is contained in the Legislature’s final version of the FY 2007 state budget. It would direct the state Office of Geographic and Environmental Information Systems (MassGIS) to develop a map of all structures and natural areas in each city and town of the Commonwealth. The Nature Conservancy urges Governor Romney to put Massachusetts on the cutting edge of land use planning by signing it into law.