To the Editor,

   I know there are agencies that protect prairie lands to be off limits to humans, such as the Bingham Prairie area in the Ochocos. I'm hoping there are agencies that will help humans protect their way of life.
   As a resident of Ashwood, I'm writing this letter to express my concerns for the future of my country home. Yes, I'm talking about the headlines of the Madras Pioneer regarding McDonald's planning a huge project for Ashwood.
   I grew up in this wonderful little community and have been fortunate to be able to retire here. I feel like a lottery winner when I step out into my yard and hear quail, meadowlarks, chukkars and robins. I feel blessed when in the evening I can watch a few deer feed down Grater Butte as they go to Trout Creek for their evening drink. I feel blessed when my grandchildren and great grandchildren can come to my home and are free to romp and play, go to the creek, hike and never fear strangers who could be dangerous. Ashwood has been a safe place for all of us, it will change drastically if the population explodes. This proposed development is practically in my front yard.
   I also feel lucky when I can drive for miles and not meet any other traffic as I look for wildflowers and wildlife in their natural world. I chose this life with 60 or so neighbors instead of thousands. We have limited traffic, vandalism and crime. This will change if Mr. McDonald gets his way with this development.
   I've known the McDonald family all my life, and was their "mother's helper" when growing up, and am very fond of some members of the family.
   It is good to succeed and prosper; this is no crime in this society we live in these days. To me, what the crime is, is to forget about land stewardship and the value of long ties to the land. There is no dollar amount that will replace the haven that Ashwood is.
   I'm putting out a plea for help, for others to step up and protest this atrocity that is being planned.
   Julia Symons Finnell
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