Once, when on a trip to Alaska, our naturalist guide, after seeing all the wonders of Alaska, challenged us upon returning to our homes to look for the natural beauty in our own states. Maxwell Wildlife Refuge is just such a place. Civilization can scarcely be seen from parts of the refuge, making me think that this is the way the prairie looked when my great-grandfather immigrated to the Smoky Hills region in 1864.
However, this refuge is threatened by encroaching wind farms. The native flora and fauna found at this refuge along with its historical importance are a gift from the Maxwell family to the citizens of Kansas. Kansas ranks 49th in percentage of publicly owned land with only 1.9 percent.
I am not against wind energy but question the location of these wind farms so close to this refuge. The visual pollution caused by 300-foot-tall wind turbines would forever distract from the natural beauty of this prairie and disrupt wildlife.
The views inside this refuge need to be preserved as the Maxwell family intended. Kansas doesn’t have scenery that takes one’s breath away, but rather lets one catch their breath. Remember, often we don’t know what we’ll miss until it’s gone.
DOUG RUDICK, Salina
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