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  1. TopTop #1
    sandoak's Avatar
    Supporting Member

    Laguna Foundation applied the herbicide Telar XP to spots in the Laguna Preserve

    Seeing the announcement about the Sebastopol Walk beginning at the Laguna Preserve, I have to ask:

    How many people are aware that the Laguna Foundation applied the herbicide Telar XP to several carefully chosen spots in the Laguna Preserve? Their target is invasive pepperweed. I've been trying to learn exactly where the spray was applied, and have somewhat conflicting information from different sources. I'd seen some pepperweed near the trail to the left as you come off the seasonal bridge, but I don't know if the Telar XP was used there.

    There were warning signs right after the spraying, but I believe those have been removed, with the erroneous thought that the spray "is only dangerous for a day or two." Actually Telar XP has a half life of 1 to 3 months, which means it will be present in the area for as long as a year. [Another source says two years.]

    Telar XP is supposedly "relatively nontoxic" to humans, but given how long we were told Roundup was "safe," I wouldn't put much stock in that assessment. The literature I've had time to review suggests the studies are inadequate at best.

    In any case, Telar XP, even according to the manufacturer, should NOT be used in wetlands. The Laguna Foundation has decided that since it was applied when it's unlikely to rain for a while, it should be ok. But given the half life [Four times the half life is what it takes for a chemical to be "essentially gone."], we can count on it contaminating the water. Then there's the question of its breakdown products are. Often, the breakdown products are more toxic than the original pesticide, and accurate information about breakdown products is very hard to come by.

    There are two issues: 1. be aware of possible herbicide exposure if you travel the Laguna trails; 2. maybe it's time to require the Laguna Foundation to protect the Laguna from poisons, rather than add to them.
    Last edited by Barry; 08-27-2015 at 12:46 PM.
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  3. TopTop #2
    sandoak's Avatar
    Supporting Member

    Re: Laguna Foundation applied the herbicide Telar XP to spots in the Laguna Preserve

    Yesterday I received an email from Kevin Monroe, the Laguna Foundation's new Executive Director, with information about where the herbicides were applied:

    "Looks like the only place in the wetland preserve/meadowlark fields area that we’ve applied herbicides this year is the area next to the Balletto vineyard that we’ve been referring to as the “Balletto Fields”. The signs that folks saw and photographed a few weeks ago are in that area, so it’s the place we’ve been discussing. The area we treated is north of Meadowlark Field in the “pedestrian only” area. If you are walking from Sebastopol’s Laguna Wetlands Preserve, crossing the seasonal bridge and then going left, after a ways there is an opening in the fence on the left which accesses the “pedestrian only/no dogs, no bikes, no horses” area. That area includes the dirt “pedestrian only” trail between the opening in the fence to the south and the closeable gate by the main Laguna de Santa Rosa trail to the northeast. That is the area where we did targeted treatments. The rest of the trail system in the Laguna Wetlands Preserve/Meadowlark Fields has not had any herbicide application from us this year. I don’t know about the dozen or so adjoining properties in that area as far as whether they have applied herbicides to their properties, which is the point I was making in my previous email.

    "Two other areas with public access where we’ve been trying to manage invasive exotics with various methods including herbicide application, are the north side of delta pond, near the confluence of Santa Rosa Creek and the Laguna, and a southern site along the Laguna between Llano Road and Stony Point Road. And as I explained in the FAQ write-up, the trails aren’t treated, but rather fields/areas nearby."

    Kevin has been very gracious about my concerns. New to the area and new to his job, he made time to meet with me and talk at length. I want to be clear I'm not making the Laguna Foundation nor any of its staff the "bad guys."

    As Kevin said, this is a complex issue that "keeps him awake at night." Back East, he had extensive experience with kudzu, and has been grieved by the loss of biodiversity that occurs when an invasive plant expands. I've no doubt that he and the other LF decision makers sincerely have the welfare of the Laguna at heart. They assess the threat of invasive pepperweed as serious enough to warrant herbicide use in a wetland area.

    With respect and even affection, I completely disagree. One of the real nightmares of our time is the presence of toxic chemicals everywhere: your cells, my cells, the cells of very plant and animal species, the water, the soil, the air. The "studies" that pronounce these chemicals "safe" are proven wrong again and again, with each new damning report suppressed and waved away. Any true environmental commitment must include a commitment to eliminate pesticide use. To paraphrase Kevin, "take it out of the tool box"!

    One environmentalist who commands my deep respect is Edward Willie. As a Native Californian he has a different view on both the natural ecosystem and its invaders. He emphasizes that chemical warfare addresses only the symptom, not the underlying cause. To deal with pepperweed or any other invasive, we must repair disrupted ecosystems, create wise tending practices, and learn nature's healing practices. He recommends that "energy should go to replanting a plant that they would deem acceptable among the pepperweed to slowly push it out."

    I like that idea of goats being employed to eat the pepperweed, but after spraying that option won't be available for at least a year. I also understand that pepperweed is an important vegetable in parts of Asia, and I hope someone explores that possibility, again avoiding any plants that have been sprayed.

    There are some interesting fault lines in the collective world view of environmentalists, ranging from keeping pockets of "wilderness" forever "pristine," to letting evolution take its course, to managing the earth for human benefit in the "post-wild world." Where one stands in that geography effects one's position on pepperweed.

    Kevin Monroe seems sincerely open to a full and gracious dialog about the issues involved in protecting the Laguna. I hope this potentially contentious issue becomes an opportunity to learn more about how to live in harmony with all life, as individuals and as a community.

    Quote sandoak wrote: View Post
    Seeing the announcement about the Sebastopol Walk beginning at the Laguna Preserve, I have to ask:

    How many people are aware that the Laguna Foundation applied the herbicide Telar XP to several carefully chosen spots in the Laguna Preserve? ...
    Last edited by Barry; 08-28-2015 at 08:05 PM.
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  5. TopTop #3
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Laguna Foundation applied the herbicide Telar XP to spots in the Laguna Preserve

    After seeing Sandy's post, I reached out to Kevin Monroe for his comments and he sent this for me to post:

    “The Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation is dedicated to preserving and restoring as much native biodiversity and ecosystem function to the Laguna Wetlands and surrounding watershed as possible. We also hold public safety and public enjoyment of the Laguna and its trails as a top priority. Keeping this unique and vital natural resource healthy, thriving and in good condition for future generations is our focus. It’s why our staff, board and volunteers come to work each day. We cannot achieve these goals without the support and dedication of this watershed’s many communities, from Windsor to Cotati, and from Sonoma Mountain to the hills of Sebastopol – that’s how far the Laguna Watershed stretches.

    The issues of invasive exotic plant management, the affect these fast-spreading species can have on state-endangered plants and wildlife, and how best to restore imperiled ecosystems are complex, multi-layered and can be challenging. I assure you that all of The Laguna Foundation’s resource management actions are very carefully researched, planned and executed, by trained and certified staff. Any time we apply herbicide to invasive exotic plants, it is done carefully, thoughtfully, safely, and following county and state requirements. Having a conversation in social media about the complicated issues of invasive exotic plant management and ecological restoration is a challenge. Going into depth about these issues via email and web-posts can often mean large misunderstandings, and important info can be lost. However, it is very important to us to communicate with the Laguna’s many visitors and patrons, so please feel free to contact me if you have specific questions or concerns. I’m happy to talk with you and will do my best to answer your questions. My name is Kevin Munroe, I’m The Foundation’s new Executive Director, and I look forward to talking with you.

    We are in the process of creating new and better communication tools and additions to our website that will discuss invasive exotic management (http://www.lagunadesantarosa.org) – until those pieces are added to our website, please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to pass on accurate info about our resource management practices. Thank you for your interest and concern in The Laguna!”
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  7. TopTop #4
    Jim Wilson's Avatar
    Jim Wilson
     

    Re: Laguna Foundation applied the herbicide Telar XP to spots in the Laguna Preserve

    Hi Sandy:

    You mentioned in your second post that there are a range of views on how we should approach environmentalism. You wrote:

    "There are some interesting fault lines in the collective world view of environmentalists, ranging from keeping pockets of "wilderness" forever "pristine," to letting evolution take its course, to managing the earth for human benefit in the "post-wild world." Where one stands in that geography effects one's position on pepperweed."

    I would be interested in hearing more from you about these various positions. I have a special fondness for Armstrong Woods (we've talked about this). And I have a big admiration for an organization called 'Friends of the Coast and Redwoods', which focuses on the care of Armstrong Woods, among other projects. For example, 'Friends', stepped up to the plate when Armstrong Woods was slated for closure, along with many state parks, and was successful in keeping it open. On the other hand, there is an overall commitment to a multi-use view of the park, including events. I have ambivalent feelings in this regard. Without 'Friends' it is likely that Armstrong Woods would have been closed. On the other hand, my heart leans towards a more hands-off view of how Armstrong Woods should be treated. Perhaps there is no perfect solution to this kind of conundrum; but your thoughts on the different approaches to an environmental ethic would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Jim
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  9. TopTop #5
    sealwatcher's Avatar
    sealwatcher
    Supporting Member

    Re: Laguna Foundation applied the herbicide Telar XP to spots in the Laguna Preserve

    Many winters ago, when rain still came to us, the road to Goat Rock washed, gullied out. No more parking lot! No more people! And the harbor seals and the gulls and the other sea birds came in all their numbers and rested at the mouth. That was a beautiful sight.

    Quote Jim Wilson wrote: View Post
    Hi Sandy:

    You mentioned in your second post that there are a range of views on how we should approach environmentalism. You wrote:

    "There are some interesting fault lines in the collective world view of environmentalists, ranging from keeping pockets of "wilderness" forever "pristine," to letting evolution take its course, to managing the earth for human benefit in the "post-wild world." Where one stands in that geography effects one's position on pepperweed."

    I would be interested in hearing more from you about these various positions. I have a special fondness for Armstrong Woods (we've talked about this). And I have a big admiration for an organization called 'Friends of the Coast and Redwoods', which focuses on the care of Armstrong Woods, among other projects. For example, 'Friends', stepped up to the plate when Armstrong Woods was slated for closure, along with many state parks, and was successful in keeping it open. On the other hand, there is an overall commitment to a multi-use view of the park, including events. I have ambivalent feelings in this regard. Without 'Friends' it is likely that Armstrong Woods would have been closed. On the other hand, my heart leans towards a more hands-off view of how Armstrong Woods should be treated. Perhaps there is no perfect solution to this kind of conundrum; but your thoughts on the different approaches to an environmental ethic would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Jim
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