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Feds Want to Triple the Amount of Toxic Pesticides Sprayed on Public Lands in the West

Toxic Lands Alert!

The BLM plans to triple annual herbicide use in western states to almost
a million acres!

From: Californians for Alternatives to Toxics

Contact: Pete Harrison, pete@alternatives2toxics.org, 707-445-5100

http://www.alternatives2toxics.org/publicforests.htm

Reprinted in Ag News You Can Use #88 December 7, 2005,

Amigo Cantisano <orgamigo@jps.net>

Californians for Alternatives to Toxics (CATs) is opposing a Bureau of
Land Management (BLM) Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS)
proposing massive herbicide applications in seventeen western states.
Under the preferred alternative, the BLM will more than triple current
annual herbicide spray totals to cover 932,000 acres of public lands
with toxic chemicals. The deadline for public comments on this plan is
January 9, 2005.

Claiming that herbicides are needed to reduce catastrophic wildfires and
protect ecosystems from invasive weeds, the BLM will apply eighteen
different poisons onto public land types including forests, rangelands,
and aquatic areas. These applications will rely heavily on aerial
spraying. The herbicides include several persistent, mobile, and toxic
chemicals, including known developmental and reproductive toxins.
Included in the BLM proposal are herbicides that they admit put
applicators at risk: 2,4-D, bromacil, chlorsulfuron, diquat, diuron,
fluridone, hexazinone, teburthiruon, and triclopyr. Also included is
picloram, which is no longer registered for use by the California
Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR). For more information on the
toxic dangers of herbicides and other pesticides please see CATs¹
website at http://www.alternatives2toxics.org/.

Negative impacts from toxic spray plan could including direct, indirect
and cumulative effects to the environment and human health. Water
quality and soil productivity may be reduced to unsafe levels.

Non-targeted vegetation, and wildlife (terrestrial and aquatic) will all
suffer greatly from the proposed toxic dousing. Native peoples would be
specifically exposed to risk during cultural plant gathering practices.
Workers applying these hazardous chemicals would be particularly at
risk. Recreationalists and other members of the public would also be at
risk. The BLM states that the risks are worth the benefits.

The BLM can affectively manage and treat unwanted vegetation by a
variety of non-herbicide techniques including, but not limited to, fire,
mechanical, manual, cultural, and biological control methods. See CATs¹
website for details on how to control unwanted vegetation, including
many invasive species, without the use of toxic chemicals
http://www.alternatives2toxics.org/invasivespecies.htm.

The BLM's Draft PEIS for Herbicide Vegetation Treatments is available in
electronic form at http://www.blm.gov/nhp/spotlight/VegEIS/. The BLM is
accepting public comments postmarked by January 9, 2006. To provide
written comments, be placed on the mailing list, or request CDs of the
documents, contact Brian Amme, Project Manager, BLM, P.O. Box 12000,
Reno, NV 89520-0006. Comments may also be faxed to 775-861-6712, or
emailed to vegeis@nv.blm.gov.

You may also provide comments at one of the 10 public meetings taking
place in: Albuquerque, New Mexico; Grand Junction, Colorado; Salt Lake
City, Utah; Billings, Montana; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Boise, Idaho;
Sacramento, California; Portland, Oregon; Las Vegas, Nevada; and
Washington D. C.. See the BLM website for more details.

CATs is supporting Alternative C, the no herbicide use alternative. For
more information regarding CATs' efforts combat pesticide projects in
our public lands and for updates on this and other projects use our
website link http://www.alternatives2toxics.org/publicforests.htm.