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U.S. PROPOSES DOUSING WILDERNESS AREAS WITH HERBICIDES

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PORKER

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U.S. proposes dousing wilderness areas with herbic
- 12/17/05 05:04 PM



ALERT: U.S. PROPOSES DOUSING WILDERNESS AREAS WITH HERBICIDES

Note: Public comment period ends Jan.9,2006

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has proposed to apply massive amounts of herbicides to public lands in 17 Western states. 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 in 17 western states, including National Monuments and National Conservation areas.

An integral part of this proposal involves aerial spraying of toxic herbicides, which increases negative impacts on non-targeted vegetation, wildlife, and people, including recreationists, tourists, and native peoples (herbicide application areas include Alaska, where native fishing and plant gathering is widespread).

The herbicides that would be used include persistent and mobile chemicals, including known developmental and reproductive toxins. The list of herbicides 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."

Fortunately, 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 are used on public lands, not the use widespread application of toxic chemicals.

Take action now and submit your public comment in support of Option C of the Bureau of Land Management Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.

Note: Public comment period ends Jan.9,2006
-----------------------
States directly affected by these pesticide applications:

* Alaska;
* Arizona;
* California;
* Colorado;
* Idaho;
* Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota;
* New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Nebraska;
* Nevada;
* Oregon and Washington;
* Utah; and
* Wyoming
 

Jinglebob

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I don't know as this id the proper answer to all of these weeds, but they damn sure got to do something. The Black Hills are full of Canada Thistle and I have heard that they are fighting some spurge too.

I had a guy who used to live up around Miles City tell me not to kill Canada Thistle as it's 15% protein in the winter and the horses and cattle will eat it. Anyone know anything about this?
 

Northern Rancher

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Haven't you heard the saying 'As happy as a horse eating thistle'. We control ours by resting pastures-the grass will take back over if it is not grazed for a season. The oldtimers used to mow it during a rain and it seemed to work pretty good. Horses really do like to eat the toips off so turn your broncs into a thistle patch during a rain storm lol. The funniest thing I ever saw was my buddies horse pulled a thistle up by the roots-the lump of dirt scared him and he lit into bucking and spinning around-it took two hours with a 12 inch screwdriver to pry my buddies fingers off the saddlehorn lol.
 

Jinglebob

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I've seen horses eat the flowers off from several differnent kinds of thistle. This guy was talking about the whole plant.

I know you can pour lick over it to get cattle to eat it. Had a friend who cleaned the russian thistles out of his fence this way. It's how lots of people got their milk cows thru' the dirty thirties.

I just was wondering about the protein content.
 

Econ101

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Now that I think about it, we have had less Canadian thistle where our quarter horses have been. I don't know if it was just this season's growth pattern or what. Goats will eat them way down though as I know someone who has goats and they really do a job on them.
 

Kathy

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Listen guys, herbicides don't kill the seeds or make them sterile; all these herbicides will do, in the long run is cause diseases like cancer, and contaminate the soil, water and air.

If you can't manage your resources without using chemicals, then you are not worthy of having them.

Surely, there are management tools which can be used to correct or improve the matters without using toxic chemicals.
 

Econ101

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Intensive grazing management can do the same job as the herbacides.
 

pknoeber

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Kathy said:
Listen guys, herbicides don't kill the seeds or make them sterile; all these herbicides will do, in the long run is cause diseases like cancer, and contaminate the soil, water and air.

It will make it possible for the native grasses to out compete the invasive species. Have you ever looked at the half-life of any of those chemicals? Most will be decomposed & broken down inside of a year.

Kathy said:
If you can't manage your resources without using chemicals, then you are not worthy of having them.

That's a philosophical difference, not an IPM (integrated pest management) decision making criteria.

Kathy said:
Surely, there are management tools which can be used to correct or improve the matters without using toxic chemicals.

Well, there might be but they remain cost-prohibitive & impossible to use on large-acreage parcels like the ones needing controlled. Goats do a good job as long as you have a labor-intensive operation to run them. Seeing as how labor is one of the most expensive aspects of the production process of anything anymore, guess what everybody is trying to minimize the most of?

Phil

EDIT: The first thing everybody will think of will be goats & intensive grazing. Now think about applying that to 932,000 ACRES!!!!! That's a lot of goats & a lot of labor. Plus those are year-around practices that will need to be constantly monitored. Does anybody really think that will work? Not to mention the cost of fencing alone. Then water. Then I bet you'll notice that a LOT of those acres will probably be in somewhat 'inaccessible' places. Still think those management practices will work?
 

Econ101

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Northern Rancher said:
They control brush on the cut blocks with sheep up here-generate a grazing revenue instead of a chemical bill.

Do they have Basques up there?
 

mrj

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Kathy said:
Listen guys, herbicides don't kill the seeds or make them sterile; all these herbicides will do, in the long run is cause diseases like cancer, and contaminate the soil, water and air.

If you can't manage your resources without using chemicals, then you are not worthy of having them.

Surely, there are management tools which can be used to correct or improve the matters without using toxic chemicals.

Who crowned you King with the right to decide who is and is not "worthy" of having land to manage?

I wonder how well you would control your Canada Thistle problems if you had miles and miles of government road rights of way, state hunting areas, and state/federal water ways seriously infested and going for years with no attempt to control that weed which produces zillions of seeds which have been found miles high riding on winds to come down and infest private lands near and far from the source?

MRJ
 

Cowpuncher

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Kathy sez:

Listen guys, herbicides don't kill the seeds or make them sterile; all these herbicides will do, in the long run is cause diseases like cancer, and contaminate the soil, water and air.

If you can't manage your resources without using chemicals, then you are not worthy of having them.

Surely, there are management tools which can be used to correct or improve the matters without using toxic chemicals.

Cowpuncher sez:

Most of the noxious weeds here in the US were brought here from Europe and Asia where they have natural enemies. Included are leafy spurge, Russian thistle, knapweed of various sorts, etc. I guess Canadian thistle came from Canada. There is some success in using natural enemies to control these weeds, but the process for making sure they don't become a problem is long, expensive and litigation prone if another problem arises.

Leafy spurge is spread in deer droppings and is common in the mountains where deer roam freely. Knapweed spreads just like Russian thistle when the wind takes the dried plants for a 490 mile and hour ride.

I would invite you to some and show us how easy it is to control weeds without herbicides. If you can do it, you will soon be rich.[/img][/list][/list][/code][/b]
 

Northern Rancher

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Seeing as I'm from CANADA where the thistle comes from lol. Canada thistle has a hard time establixhing on a properly grazed pasture-it got into ours after a bad fire-it established in the burnouts(peaty ground). We eliminated it by accidant-lost our water there and gave that field a year of total rest-this was acres of stirrup high thistle too. Weed growth is just part of succession-grass will recover if managed right-but I'm sure the chemical companies make a bit bigger political contribution cash wise than the sheepherders. I don't think we have any Basques up here.
 

Cowpuncher

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We don't have any problem with Canadian Thistle where we can graze it.
We had about 40 acres in CRP where the thistle was 4-5 feet high. We took it out of CRP, paid the penaltyand turned the cattle on it. It is all gone now - after two or three years. Cattle love the stuff.

Our problem is in gullies in farming areas. We can't graze it - no fences or water and herbicides take repeated applications. Also Tordon, which is fairly effective on Canadian thistle, cannot be used near waterways.

As soon as we can get the whole place back to grass, cattle will take care of it. Not so with knapweed, musk thistle and leafy spurge.
 

blackjack

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...talking of natural predators ... up here in west central alberta we had these catipillars last year by the thousands that were eating on the thistle... when they turned into a butterfly i think they were called painted ladies... :D
 

Kathy

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Yes, I knew I'd get in trouble for using that word "worthy", but this is a situation that can be dealt with by less invasive manners than herbicides, it is a matter that the US government, and alot of others choose not to do without herbicides.

If it is just money, then maybe ask some of the conservation groups to help pay the bill to prevent using the herbicides.

I know some of the perils of living next to busy roads, and rail road tracks. The situation and decisions on your own farms are your own, but when it comes to decisions which will dramatically effect the health of the environment on publicly owned lands - everybody gets a say.

I'm sorry if the government's inaction has caused your privately owned land to be over-run, but unless you have made them well aware of your concerns in the past (which you may have) you can't expect the big wheels of government to pay attention, if you haven't told them about the problem.

IF you've told them about it, then you should have a case for damages, and perhaps some of you can band together and sue for reparation costs.

It is not as simple as believing what the chemical companies say about how long their product lingers in the environment. OPs and organochlorides, for example, are being found in the environment long after they were expected to found, and in places they were never used.

This is an opportunity for the government to employ people to manage alot of these problems in a holistic manner - they choose not to, because in the short term - they think it is more cost effective? And their buddies with the herbicide companies, will make alot of money spraying for weeds, that don't kill the seeds.

When the waterways are contaminated, there are no more fish, and the rates of cancer increase down-stream/down-wind, you can be proud that you saved some money.

I'm sorry if this opinion offends anybody, but thank God we live in two countries where we can express our opinions openly and have some good debate on the issues.
 

Econ101

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Kathy said:
Yes, I knew I'd get in trouble for using that word "worthy", but this is a situation that can be dealt with by less invasive manners than herbicides, it is a matter that the US government, and alot of others choose not to do without herbicides.

If it is just money, then maybe ask some of the conservation groups to help pay the bill to prevent using the herbicides.

I know some of the perils of living next to busy roads, and rail road tracks. The situation and decisions on your own farms are your own, but when it comes to decisions which will dramatically effect the health of the environment on publicly owned lands - everybody gets a say.

I'm sorry if the government's inaction has caused your privately owned land to be over-run, but unless you have made them well aware of your concerns in the past (which you may have) you can't expect the big wheels of government to pay attention, if you haven't told them about the problem.

IF you've told them about it, then you should have a case for damages, and perhaps some of you can band together and sue for reparation costs.

It is not as simple as believing what the chemical companies say about how long their product lingers in the environment. OPs and organochlorides, for example, are being found in the environment long after they were expected to found, and in places they were never used.

This is an opportunity for the government to employ people to manage alot of these problems in a holistic manner - they choose not to, because in the short term - they think it is more cost effective? And their buddies with the herbicide companies, will make alot of money spraying for weeds, that don't kill the seeds.

When the waterways are contaminated, there are no more fish, and the rates of cancer increase down-stream/down-wind, you can be proud that you saved some money.

I'm sorry if this opinion offends anybody, but thank God we live in two countries where we can express our opinions openly and have some good debate on the issues.

Kathy, You had some good comments. Thanks for bringing it up. We have done away with DDT, and it has been very helpful. Finding chemicals we can use that fit the time frame we are using is key. They should not last in the environment longer than they provide the desired effect.

Thanks for your posting. Let us know of any updates on this. I have heard of pesticides being sprayed out west for grasshoppers. I don't know how effective long term this is.
 

Kathy

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I was/am really concerned about the grasshopper spraying that went on in Alberta a couple years ago. Some guys were spraying 3-6 times, in one growing season.

I personally noticed a drop in the population (visibility) of birds of prey ie: hawks etc in our area, even though we have very little crop land and mostly pasture around here. The birds of prey are at the top of their food chain, so the poison would have bio-accummulated in the animals and insects they ate.

Thankfully, the grasshoppers are not a problem, for the most part, now in Alberta. I have never seen anything like it, quite unbelievable and very devastating.

If you can believe it, I actually bought some poisoned bran for grasshoppers. I took a handful out away from the yard, and spread it to see what happened to the grasshoppers. They immediately started wriggling and dying. No time delay here. I have a bag of poisoned bran secure in my shop which I will never use, and I don't want to give it away for someone else to use either.

I am very concerned about the health effects of the crops sprayed and then used for human and/or cattle feed. It was inevitable those few years, that if you bought feed, you probably bought feed sprayed at least once for grasshoppers.

We lost our 200 acres of oats. They wiped it out 100% plus many of our trees. We got some hay, but not much and had to buy most of it. Most ranchers were not spraying hay crops, at least not at the rates they sprayed cereals. Most of the hay that survived got a head start on the grasshoppers, and was first cut. The second cuts were wiped out. (We only get one cut at our place).

This is an article that will interest you about the persistence of OPs.

Environmental fate and toxicology of organophosphate pesticides
Author: RAGNARSDOTTIR K.V.1
Source: Journal of the Geological Society, Volume 157, Number 4, July 2000, pp. 859-876(18)
Publisher: Geological Society Publishing House

Abstract:
Organophosphate pesticides (OPs) are generally regarded as safe for use on crops and animals due to their relatively fast degradation rates. Their degradation varies as a function of microbial composition, pH, temperature, and availability of sunlight. Under laboratory conditions (25°C and pH 7) biodegradation is about one order of magnitude faster than chemical hydrolysis, which in turn is roughly ten times faster than photolysis. Microbial biomass often needs a lengthy adaptation period in which soil bacteria mutate to be able to metabolize OPs. Biodegradation is thus in general an order of magnitude faster in soils that have had repeated applications of OPs compared to control soils which have never had OP applications. Because OPs are relatively soluble, they often enter surface and groundwaters. In the latter OPs are primarily broken down through chemical hydrolysis, which is pH dependent. Hydrolysis half-life of an OP pesticide of 10 days in the laboratory increases to one year if the pH of the water is 6 and the temperature 5°C, suggesting that OPs can persist in the environment for long periods of time. Indeed, OPs are detected in soils years after application. Why this environmental persistence occurs is not clear, but it may be due to sorption of the OPs to soil particles, making them unavailable for microbial metabolism. Example calculations and literature data show that conditions can occur in soil where OPs are preserved and transferred to humans through food. A review of the literature shows that OPs are highly toxic and that human exposure is undesirable. Evidence suggests that OPs are mutagenic and teratogenic and that a large number of modern-day diseases of the nervous and immune system of mammals can be linked to these pesticides. These include BSE (mad cows disease), CJD, Gulf War syndrome, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, arguing for a thorough examination of the environmental fate and toxicology of OPs as well as their use.
Language: English
Document Type: Research article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1RJ, UK (e-mail: [email protected])


There is also a Dr. John Giesy coming to the University of Saskatchewan in 2006 to study these environmental problems.

World-leading Environmental Toxicologist to Join U of S

Released June 27, 2005

John Giesy, a world-renowned expert in industrial pollutants and their effect on people and the environment, has been appointed Canada Research Chair in Environmental Toxicology at the University of Saskatchewan, the federal government announced today.

The U of S was awarded $1.4 million over the next seven years for the Chair, as well as $906,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the University, and other partners to buy related laboratory equipment.

“Environmental sustainability is becoming ever more critical as populations grow and industrial society puts pressure on the natural systems that sustain us,” said U of S Vice-President Research Steven Franklin. “Professor Giesy’s appointment is part of the University of Saskatchewan’s vigorous response to these urgent issues, both in discovery research and in training the next generation of environmental scientists.”

Giesy, currently Distinguished Professor of Zoology at Michigan State University, will assume his position with the U of S department of veterinary and biomedical sciences in May, 2006. His work will be based at lab facilities in the U of S Toxicology Centre, newly rebuilt and refurbished to accommodate a robust research program to study industry-produced persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

“It is the opportunity of a lifetime to be able work in a program the calibre of that at the U of S,” Giesy said. “It is a great university in a great country and I cannot wait to get started. All of the people I have met and all of the interactions at U of S have been first class all the way.”

Giesy will work to develop rapid, sensitive, and cost-effective tools to test for POPs in the environment, particularly in regions such as Canada’s Arctic where fragile ecosystems and a heavy reliance on native foods make populations especially vulnerable. Ultimately, these tools and the knowledge generated will guide policy makers and regulators in prescribing more environmentally sustainable practices.

Giesy was the first to identify the presence in the environment of perfluorinated compounds, a class of POPs used in common products such as paints, cosmetics, and electronics. Though it had been thought that these chemicals didn’t migrate through the environment, Giesy and his colleagues detected the compounds in animal tissues from all over the world -- from Ganges River dolphins to North American bald eagles. It is still unclear what effect these chemicals may have on wildlife and people.

Another of his “firsts” is the discovery that some POPs become more toxic when exposed to light. He has also worked on the long-term effects of Agent Orange on Vietnam War veterans, as well as the hormone-disrupting effects of other POPs on reproductive systems in wildlife.

Giesy is also adept at “green chemistry” – the design of more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Giesy will lead a world-class training program in eco-toxicology. His group is expected to include 16 graduate students and five post doctoral fellows, as well as employ five research technicians and attract three to five visiting scientists at any given time.

Over the last three decades, his research programs have garnered more than $57 million in funding and resulted in more than 550 publications, making him the fourth most-cited author in ecology and environmental science. He is past president of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, the world-wide leading academic organization in his field. He has also received many of the world’s top awards in environmental science, including the prestigious Vollenweider Lectureship from Environment Canada.

With the addition of Giesy’s Chair, the U of S has now been awarded nearly $28 million to support 29 Chairs, as well as nearly $10.4 million in related CFI and partner infrastructure funding.

A team of academic peers chooses the most outstanding candidates from nominations submitted to the Canada Research Chairs program by universities. Giesy’s chair is one of 79, together worth $62.9 million, announced today in Charlottetown.

“Our universities are vital centres of cutting-edge research and innovation,” said Industry Minister David Emerson. “The ideas generated at these institutions extend the frontiers of knowledge and create a deeper understanding of the complex world in which we live.”

The $900-million Canada Research Chairs Program was created to enhance universities as centers of world-class research excellence by attracting and retaining excellent researchers in Canadian universities. When fully implemented, Canadian universities will have 2,000 new Canada Research Chairs. For profiles of U of S Canada Research Chair holders, visit http://www.usask.ca/crc or the national website at http://www.chairs.gc.ca.

For more information, contact:

John Geisy
Professor
Zoology Department, Michigan State University
(517) 353-2000
 

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