To the editor:
During the public comment session during the recent Lawrence City Commission meeting to decide about the fate of the Chapter 16, the proposed environmental chapter to Horizon 2020, a man who opposed the chapter for fear it would limit development said, “We can’t make more land.” The irony of his statement was apparent to all.
Truly, once our natural resources like the Wakarusa Wetlands are paved and contaminated with run-off, they’re gone and the lives they support with them. A recent report by the National Audubon Society just listed 20 common birds that have experienced sharp decline in the last 40 years in direct response to habitat loss. Many of them — the American bittern, common grackle, little blue heron, northern pintail, horned lark, lark sparrow, field sparrow, grasshopper sparrow, loggerhead shrike — depend on these particular wetlands in our town.
Rather than building new roads, now is the time to better use and maintain existing roads and prepare for the petroleum-scarce future that surely lies ahead. This will be a time when we will place an even higher value on the rich natural landscapes close to home for recreation, solace, and all we can learn from the beings that live in them.