Friends of Patrick Eagan Park

Letters to the Editor

Eagan This Week
Saturday, December 8, 2001

We Must Carefully Consider Actions for Park

To the editor:

In the debates regarding the merits of conserving or developing Patrick Eagan Park, I have noticed the discussion has often turned to the amount of "usage" the park receives. As if to say something only has value if it can be "used."

May I suggest a different perspective? I would propose that each of us takes a moment to consider that whether or not we chose to enjoy or personally appreciate a natural environment such as Patrick Eagan Park, we are each beneficiaries of it.

Amercia's great nature writer, John Burroughs, wrote in 1920, "Whatever they can use, they think was designed for that purpose ... It is if they thought the notch in the mountains was made for the road to pass over ..." Or in this case, that an ancient glacial environment is the perfect setting for a championship golf course.

Such a voracious, me-first approach cannot continue. We must consider what the consequences will be, both immediate and long term, for continuing to allow such decimation and act accordingly. Noted Harvard biologist Edward Wilson calls the era we are entering the "critical bottleneck of the next 50 years."

In this time of exploding human population and shrinking biodiversity, we had each better think carefully about our actions. Our refusal to consider the cumulative effects of our plundering in the name of "progress, convenience and prosperity" is irresponsible and devastatingly irrevocable.

Alane Roundtree

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