To the Editor:
The citizens of Lawrence have received a grave insult from a local developer named Jack Graham. This land speculator showed his utter contempt for the people of Lawrence by maliciously plowing the Elkins Prairie. His action will not be forgotten quickly by the community.
At least two generations of Lawrencians enjoyed the natural wonders of our local landmark, a virgin tallgrass prairie. Wildflower buffs, landscape artists, bird watchers, scouts, botanists and many others explored the prairie over the years. Now, these people and future generations have been denied an opportunity to enjoy their natural heritage.
By deliberately destroying two populations of plant species listed under the Endangered Species Act, Mr. Graham sought to eliminate any potential roadblocks to the rezoning of the land from agricultural to commercial use. Now he is free to maximize his profits. And profit he will, to the tune of more than $360,000. In my opinion, developers, as a group, are insensitive to the environment and people because their eyes can see only dollar signs. Mr. Graham had a chance to preserve the prairie and make a profit by selling the land to either the Nature Conservancy or the county at fair market value. But he wanted more and thus thumbed his nose at God's creation and the people of Lawrence. Shame on him!