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Indybay Feature
Fri Dec 30 2005
BLM Proposal Would Apply Pesticides in Western States
US Wants to Reduce Risk of Fire, Spread of Invasives Using Toxic Chemicals
The Organic Consumers Association reports that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has proposed to apply massive amounts of pesticides to public lands in 17 Western states, including California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Utah. The BLM claims these pesticides need to be applied to forests, rangelands and aquatic areas in order to reduce the risk of fire and slow the spread of invasive weeds. Under the proposal 932,000 acres would undergo chemical application, including National Monuments and National Conservation areas.

This proposal involves aerial spraying of toxic pesticides, and would mean increased negative impacts on non-targeted vegetation, wildlife, and people. The pesticides that would be used include persistent and mobile chemicals, including known developmental and reproductive toxins. The list of pesticides includes 4 new chemicals and 14 other pesticides, including 2,4-D, bromacil, chlorsulfuron, diquat, diuron, fluridone, hexazinone, teburthiruon, triclopyr, and picloram. The proposal would also allow the use of "new chemicals that may be developed in the future." However, the proposal also includes an analysis of possible outcomes of using nonchemical means of managing these areas and offers an option (Option C) wherein traditional methods of vegetation management would be used on public lands, rather than the widespread application of toxic chemicals. Pesticide opponents are encouraging people to submit public comments in support of Option C of the Bureau of Land Management Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. The public comment period ends on January 9th, 2006. Read more

From the chaparral of southern California to the ponderosa pines of northern California, fire has been an essential feature of the West's ecosystem since long before the last ice age; native plants and animals are well adapted to and in fact benefit from fire.

Californians for Alternatives to Toxics page about the BLM draft | California's Pesticide Surveillance (Reporting) website | East Bay Pesticide Alert | Beyond Pesticides | Environment and Human Health, Inc
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Related Categories: Environment & Forest Defense

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