Harold Henderson’s article “Up Against the Sprawl” (September 6) was an excellent, comprehensive look at the causes and effects of sprawl, a vital subject for Chicagoland, one that must be addressed more effectively by the citizens of Illinois. I would like to take issue, however, with his comment regarding the loss of farmland. While from a national standpoint farmland is not “scarce,” this is certainly no consolation to localities where farmland is being eaten away so rapidly it is evident that local farming will not survive. Farmland is something that must be seen in terms of local farming, not as a land mass that bears no relation to a local economy or way of life. It is time for local governments in Illinois to study their agricultural economies and decide whether they want to protect them from the kind of sprawl that is induced by tollway extensions and proposed airports. Many states and localities nationwide have taken action to protect farmland and family farms from sprawl. Illinois contains some of the nation’s best, most fertile farmland and it is both sad and appalling that the forces of sprawl are being allowed to march on as if that doesn’t matter.

Deborah Bowers

Editor, Farmland Preservation Report

Street, Maryland