I believe building houses does nothing for the environment, the best you can do is limit the damage. But a forest provides more benefits and services than we can count, attempt to value, or even know about, and a forest benefits not just humans, but all living things. In this light it is a ridiculously easy choice for me to choose to pay $6 a month on my property tax to preserve what nature has been doing free of charge for thousands of years. As they say in the environmental circles, preservation is much cheaper than mitigation (or a failed restoration project).
We are all in this together, and some have been for 20-plus years with this particular parcel of land. Let us chose now to purchase this land and let nature continue to do its priceless services for all living things. For heaven's sake, the number for most it will be less than a dollar a day for ten short years - surely nature's environmental and ecological services are worth that!