Daily News Archive
June 17, 2005
National Forest Needs Protection from the U.S. Forest Service
(Beyond Pesticides June 17, 2005)
Your assistance is needed on a toxic forest alert! The U.S. Forest Service
is proposing the most extreme spray plans in two decades for California’s
National Forests, according to Californians for Alternatives to Toxics
(CATs). The agency is planning to resume a practice that they had previously
ceased due to the risks of negatively impacting the natural environment.
According to CATs,
these proposed projects are considered to be risky, unnecessary, and potentially
precedent setting. Today, there exist numerous non-chemical options to
manage forestland, ranging from hand treatments to mechanical.
The organization CATs, is calling for assistance from the public to help
in their efforts to vigorously oppose the U.S. Forest Service proposals.
Four of the largest projects are expected to cover a total of 40,000 acres.
The U.S. Forest Service R-5 pesticide projects in California National
Forests include the following:
- Cottonwood Project-
Plans for the Tahoe National Forest (NF) include the spraying of herbicides
(glyphosate and triclopyr) over 13,500 acres for conifers release and
weed management using ground application in fire reforestation project.
- Lasen Project-
Stanislaus NF plans to spray on approximately 10,000 acres, including
aerial applications for over 1,000 acres. Ground applications are planned
for the remaining acres of conifer release, vegetation control, and
weed treatments in a fire restoration project.
- Modoc Project-
Modoc NF plans to use six different herbicides, on over 8,500 acres
(including one 6,000 acre site) to eradicate noxious weeds. This project
is open ended, expecting to last as long as funding does.
- McNally Project-
Sequoia NF plans to use herbicides, insecticides, and rodenticides on
8,000 acres (including aerial spraying) for vegetation, weed and gopher
control in a fire restoration project. This area includes parts of Sequoia
National Monument, a roadless area and section along the Kern River.
It is believed that
spraying could begin as soon as this summer. Environmentalists are concerned
that this could be the beginning of a return to large-scale pesticide
use in California’s National Forests.
In joining with CATs,
Beyond Pesticides encourages the U.S Forest Service to use the proven
healthy sustainable solutions. Information on alternative solutions is
readily available at http://www.alternatives2toxics.org/publicforests.htm.
To read about similar
forest management battles and herbicide manufacturer involvement, see
article in Pesticides and You.
Contact U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (see SAMPLE
LETTER) by email [email protected]
or by phone (202) 224-3553 to protest the Forest Service’s proposed
plans and ask her assistance to prevent this plan from creating a new
trend in the treasured forests of California. To join efforts to combat
pesticide projects in California public forestlands, contact [email protected].