We agree with the Missouri Botanical Garden, which operates the Shaw Nature Reserve at Gray Summit, that the proposed location of a ready mix concrete near the nature reserve should not be allowed. The matter is before the Franklin County Planning and Zoning Commission.

While that type of business is necessary and certainly legitimate, the operation is such that it doesn’t belong next to a nature reserve. The operations produce noise and dust, plus there would be truck traffic to deal with by visitors to the nature reserve, numbering about 60,000 a year.

Many of the visitors are children. They, along with adults, attend and enjoy educational programs and classes. Some of the visitors stay at the Dana Brown Overnight Center.

The county should deny a conditional use permit. The director of the nature reserve, John W. Behrer, suggested the plant be located in the nearby Pacific Industrial Park. That makes sense. To locate the plant next to the nature reserve makes no sense!

Planning and zoning exists for property protection and orderly growth. Shaw Nature Reserve should be protected from anything that would be harmful to it.