I ran into a little snag with this, which, sucked the life out of me. :kitty:
I started off by building dirt roads for a basic layout. I followed a very natural looking treeline on the edge of a forest. I moved in a few mobile homes, to give it that rustic, pioneer feeling. On the other end of the map, I plopped a single factory lot. Utilities etc were all imported from other cities. I was progressing along quite nicely, with a few commercial places opening up to give it a community feel.
All was well, until about 3 hours later, I noticed that my forest had shrunk beyond 50% of its original size. So I ran a test and laid a couple more zones down and noticed they consmed the forest as they built. Ok, no problem. Over time, I went from a lush forest area to a barren mid-central plain, and from the looks of it, even the hedge hogs moved out. It was desolate and completely devoid of trees.
Ok, no problem, or so I thought. I plopped a bunch of trees around my sparsely developed, 300 pop community. It was very pretty looking, again. About an hour later, without building a single thing, no upgrades, nothing (I let the game run), again, the forest I laid had begun to disappear!
So now I'm at a loss for what to do to continue the backwoods living. I'm guessing its coded into the game, but from what I saw, it's deforestation at an alarming rate and near impossible to maintain over the long haul.
I should have capped a screen sooner, but here's a before and after of the small area I built showing the reduced tree-line over time. The large curved road (on the right) is where the original forest line was. It stretched across the map to the factory.
I'm going to continue building. I still love the idea of small town play. I've noticed (hence the edit) the trees around developed area degrade at a slower pace, so maybe once things are built up a bit more, it won't be so bad.
Sorry, you'll have to excuse me, I have to administrate grief counselling to 300 citizens who are coping with a small town murder. Sad times.