Letter to the Editor

Conserve resources for the future

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

To the editor:

"Keeping it natural" caught my attention since Shawneetown is a small community about eight miles from where I grew up. It's true that millions of acres of forest thrived in Missouri when the Europeans arrived, but was the area desecrated, plundered and laid waste? Hardly.

I wonder where the environmental groups think their food comes from? And where did the lumber for their homes or rails for railroads or timers for schools and churches come from?

My great-grandparents and parents were party to cutting some of those trees to develop farms for this family, but they were concerned about preserving and building the fertility of the soil and preventing it from eroding. They raised four generations of children, built schools and churches and developed the area into a thriving community.

Now the environmentalists want to restore the land to its natural state. What's the purpose? How are the next generations expected to survive? Where will they get their food and lumber? When I read such articles, I wonder what kind of homes the writers live in? Where does their food come from? What is their plan for future generations?

The nearby Trail of Tears State Park should provide ample opportunity for anyone to see what the area may have looked like 150 years ago. I'm not in favor of plundering resources. We need to conserve for the generations to come, not simply as a museum for someone to look at. Wee need to look for ways to make our land more productive.

WALT WILKENING, Columbia, Mo.