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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Invasive Species' Category


Acclaimed Scientists and Activists to Convene at 31st National Pesticide Forum

(Beyond Pesticides, January 18, 2013) Joining the list  of speakers at Beyond Pesticides’ 31st National Pesticide Forum are Tyrone Hayes, Ph.D., the biologist best known for his research on the effects of atrazine on frogs, and Isaac N. Pessah, Ph.D., the  Chair of the Department of Molecular Biosciences at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The conference will focus on cutting edge public health science, building resilience in our food system and communities, and bringing ecosystems back to balance, and will incorporate regional issues such as water and food sovereignty in the Southwest. The National Forum provides an opportunity for grassroots advocates, scientists, and policy makers to interact and strategize on solutions that are protective of health and the environment. The 31st National Pesticide Forum, Sustainable Families, Farms and Food: Resilient communities through organic practices, will be held April 5-6, 2013 (Friday afternoon and all day Saturday) at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. Registration information can be found in our online store. The conference is convened by Beyond Pesticides, La Montanita Coop, and the University of New Mexico Sustainability Studies Program, and co-sponsored by local, state and regional public health and environmental organizations, including […]



Hazardous Aerial Spraying Used for Invasive Weed Management

(Beyond Pesticides, January 14, 2013) Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle State Park, located on Lake Erie, recently contracted a commercial helicopter to spray herbicides on 170 acres of the park in an  attempt to control an overgrowth of  phragmites and narrow leaf cattail. This decision to aerial spray herbicides comes after the park has unsuccessfully tried to control these invasive plant species with ground level herbicide spraying since 1994. Presque Isle is the most popular destination along Pennsylvania’s six-mile Lake Erie coastline, and has over four million visitors a year. Presque Isle is home to over 330 types of birds and more than 800 species of native plants, many of which are rare, threatened, or endangered. This aerial herbicide application may have unintended health consequences for both human visitors and endangered animals that call this park their home. The October spraying also raises questions concerning how invasive species problems are framed, leading to unnecessary pesticide use. Spraying pesticides aerially can lead to a higher rate of pesticide drift compared to ground application. Given that pesticides can drift even when applied from a truck or a handheld applicator, up to 40% of the pesticide is lost to drift during aerial applications. Even when […]



Goat Weeding Takes Off in Durango, Colorado

(Beyond Pesticides, October 25, 2012) Eight miles south of Durango, Colorado in a 65-acre plot of barren land an unusual set of guests has set out to manage weeds, restore soils, and improve land quality. Land owner Kim Craden, who shares the land with Chevron Corp, has contracted Lani Malmberg, board member of Beyond Pesticides, with her herd of 850 goats to help restore their property. This follows the recent ordinance that eschews chemical fertilizers and pesticides in favor of an organically maintained system on public land. Until recently, the land in question had hosted a holding pond owned by Chevron and used for the oil exploration and production of wastewater. It had been grandfathered into statewide rules governing wastewater management, until a riding arena was built just across the road. When faced with bringing the pond into compliance with state security, signage, and fencing requirements, Chevron decided to close the pond, reclaim the land, and restore the surrounding area. They contracted Ms. Malmberg, who had already worked for city and county governments, the Department of Defense, federal public land agencies, and numerous private ventures. Needless to say, her herd of goats has an impressive track record. Ms. Malmberg has […]



Goats to Join Chicago O’Hare Maintenance Crew

(Beyond Pesticides, October 1, 2012) O’Hare International Airport in Chicago is planning to sign on a shepherd and approximately 30 goats and sheep to graze on overgrown brush at the perimeter of the airport later this fall. The animals are expected to clear about 250 square feet of vegetation per day. Airport officials sought out the goats in order to eliminate an overgrowth of poison ivy and poison oak, and reduce the habitat for wildlife hazardous to airport operations, such as birds or deer. Chicago will join a list of other cities, including Atlanta and San Francisco, that use grazing animals to help maintain portions of their airport and a multitude of other cities that use goats as part of their weed management plans. The choice to use goats at O’Hare was made because, according to Department of Aviation spokeswoman Karen Pride, the overgrown property is difficult for machinery and pesticide applicators to reach because of hills and standing water. The area where the goats will be grazing is outside the security fence, so there’s no danger of goats straying onto the runways. “The animals are a more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly alternative for brush removal,”Ms. Pride said. Five potential […]



California to Spray Toxic Pesticides for Japanese Beetles

(Beyond Pesticides, August 1, 2011) After sighting three Japanese beetles in the vicinity of Greenback Lane and Fair Oaks Boulevard in Sacramento County, California, state officials are scheduled to spray pesticides linked to cancer, reproductive and neurological effects. On August 2, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is scheduled to begin ground applications of carbaryl on fruit-bearing trees, and cyfluthrin on non-fruit-bearing trees and landscape plants in attempts to stave of attacks from the voracious Japanese beetle. Japanese beetles, a threat to turf grass as well as ornamental plants such as roses and cut flowers, have been detected in the Fair Oaks area, state officials said, but the ”˜infestation’ appears to be localized. To keep the ”˜infestation’ from spreading countywide, Juli Jensen, Acting Agricultural Commissioner, is urging residents in the area not to move plants or plant parts. The initial treatments will be directed at adult beetles and begins August 2 with applications of carbaryl on fruit-bearing trees, and cyfluthrin on non-fruit-bearing trees and landscape plants. Two weeks later, a second treatment will be applied and augmented by a granular imidacloprid to target grubs. The applications, to occur on approximately 100 properties, will be carried out by the […]



Pesticide Linked to Colony Collapse Disorder Receives Emergency EPA Approval for Stink Bugs

(Beyond Pesticides, July 1, 2011) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted emergency approval for the use of the neonicotinoid pesticide dinotefuran to control brown marmorated stink bugs in seven eastern states. Dinotefuran is a member of the neonicotinoid family of systemic pesticides that is known to be highly toxic to bees and associated with Colony Collapse Disorder. The states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia had previously asked EPA for emergency approval of the pesticide due to a ballooning stink bug population. The short term emergency measure became effective June 24 and will expire on October 15 of this year. Dinotefuran is already approved by EPA for use on other crops, such as grapes, cotton, and some vegetables. The emergency approval relates to the pesticide’s use on orchard crops such as apples, pears, peaches, and nectarines, for which it has not previously been allowed. Growers of those crops will now be able to apply dinotefuran from the ground twice per season. The agency will allow a total of 29,000 orchard acres to be treated, which does not include applications to the previously approved crops. Under a controversial stipulation known as a Section […]



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Considers Massive Aerial Spray to Eradicate Invasive Mice

(Beyond Pesticides, May 16, 2011) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is looking into “carpet-bombing” with pesticides (or a large aerial bombing) the Farallon Islands, off the coast of San Francisco, in an effort to eradicate the invasive house mouse that is encroaching on the survival of an endangered seabird. The problem is that this approach will also kill many other species in and around the Islands, including birds, reptiles and crustaceans. FWS announced April 26, 2011 that the agency is preparing a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the islands located off the coast of San Francisco, California. The aim of the project is to “protect and restore the ecosystem.” The agency is accepting public comments, suggestions and other input on or before May 27, 2011. “These are man-made problems,” Maggie Sergio, director of advocacy for the nonprofit organization WildCare, told the San Francisco Gate. “Is the aerial dumping of tons of poison over a pristine wilderness area really the answer? We don’t think so.” WildCare, a Marin County animal rehabilitation center that has been around for 50 years, has been working to stop the spray. The organization sent around a petition and has so far collected over […]



Beyond Pesticides Launches YouTube Channel Featuring National Pesticide Forum Presentations

(Beyond Pesticides, May 3, 2011) Beyond Pesticides is pleased to announce the launch of its YouTube Channel. Officially launched this week, the channel features keynote presentations and panel sessions from Beyond Pesticides’ 29th National Pesticide Forum held April 2011 at the Colorado School of Public Health in Aurora, CO. The videos serve as an educational resource for those working to change pesticide policies in their communities, schools, institutions, state and nationwide. Individuals and organizations are invited to submit their own videos to be included on the Beyond Pesticides’ channel. Featured videos included with the initial launch include: — Pesticides 101: An introduction to pesticide issues (Caroline Cox, Center for Environmental Health) — Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides: Stopping the demise of honeybees (Tom Theobald, Niwot Honey Farm; James Frazier, PhD, Penn State University; Marygael Meister, Denver Beekeepers Association) — Genetically Engineered Food: Failed promises and hazardous outcomes (George Kimbrell, Center for Food Safety) — Health and Science Panel (John Adgate, PhD, Colorado School of Public Health; Dana Boyd Barr, PhD, Emory University; Christine Parks, PhD, National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS); Changlu Wang, PhD; Rutgers University) — Beyond Lists: Where did all those pesticides come from? (Theo Colborn, PhD, The […]



Greening the Community Conference Update, New $25 Registration Rate

(Beyond Pesticides, February 25, 2010) To include more grassroots activists and community members in Greening the Community: Green economy, organic environments and healthy people, Beyond Pesticides announced a new $25 “recession rate.” The conference, Beyond Pesticides’ 28th National Pesticide Forum, will be held April 9-10 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. To take advantage of the reduced registration, register online today. We are also pleased to announce exciting additions to our speaker list including: journalist, author, democracy and environmental activist Harvey Wasserman; ecologist, ecological engineer and 2004 Stockholm Water Prize laureate William Mitsch, PhD; and several others. These speakers join Jeff Moyer, organic farming and gardening expert with the Rodale Institute; Melinda Hemmelgarn, award-winning “Food Sleuth” journalist who encourages people “think beyond their plates”; David Hackenberg, beekeeper who first discovered colony collapse disorder; Canadian organizers who played a key role in the effort that banned cosmetic pesticide use in Ontario in 2009; and, cutting-edge scientists focusing on endocrine disruption, cancer, learning disabilities, and the link between birth defects and season of conception. Harvey Wasserman is a journalist, author, democracy activist and environmental advocate. He is author of a dozen books, including Solartopia! Our Green Powered Earth. Harvey helped […]



North Carolina Town Solves Poison Ivy Problem with Goats

(Beyond Pesticides, August 11, 2009) Carrboro, NC, the site of Beyond Pesticides’ 27th National Pesticide Forum, is the latest town to join the list of states and communities employing goats for nontoxic weed control. Communities across the nation, from Maryland to Wyoming to California, are discovering that grazing goats is a great option for land that suffers from unwanted plants, low organic matter and soil compaction. Goats eat weeds, add fertilizer and aerate the soil with their hooves, all at the same time. The town of Carrboro hired Goat Patrol, a targeted grazing service based in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina, to control a poison ivy infestation in a town dog park. The company, which currently consists of 16 goats, is owned and operated by Alix Bowman. Ms. Bowman says the inspiration for the business was found knee deep in a patch of English Ivy, which she was struggling to remove to make way for a garden. “If only I had some goats,” she thought. Four months later, the business school graduate returned to her farming roots and started the Goat Patrol. The Carrboro Board of Aldermen adopted an integrated pest management policy to reduce the use of […]



Goats Replace Toxic Pesticides and Mowing Nationwide

(Beyond Pesticides, June 1, 2009) Many believe that nature’s best weed control is goats and that is why the Maryland Department of Transportation, town of Heampstead, New York, Google Corporate office campus in Mountain View, California, Mesa, Arizona Utilities Department and City of Cheyenne, Wyoming are putting goats to work this spring. Whether its 5 or 700 goats managing weeds, brush and grasses along highways, on a nature preserve, on a corporate campus or on a water reclamation plant property, goats are doing the work in an environmentally-friendly way. Goats eat unwanted plants, add fertilizer to the area and aerate the soil with their hooves, all at the same time. They show up every day to work, never complain, and they are tireless in performing their job. Maryland Department of Transportation The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) had a major dilemma — how to mow the turf amid the meadows and bogs that protect the threatened Bog Turtle around a major highway bypass in the state. The best solution — use goats as lawn mowers. In late May, SHA enlisted a herd of 40 goats from a local farmer to begin a conservation grazing project on approximately […]



Herbicide Use Along California’s Eel River Prompts Lawsuit

(Beyond Pesticides, September 20, 20087) A citizens group sued the county and the state of California September 14, 2007 for not allowing adequate public input before using toxic sprays on the Eel River to eradicate invasive weeds. Eureka-based Californians for Alternatives to Toxics (CATs) sued the Humboldt County Agricultural Commissioner (County) and the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) for their decision to use herbicides to kill purple loosestrife plants for as many as 10 years without first consulting with the public. The suit, filed in Humboldt County Superior Court, also faults the agencies for failing to consider safer and more effective methods such as biological weed control programs, already used successfully throughout the country.“The decision to spray was made behind closed doors with the many people who care deeply about the Eel River locked out,” said Patty Clary, speaking for CATs. “State law requires that the public be involved in important environmental decisions and that alternatives be seriously considered – these requirements were not met.” The agencies’ decision to spray the herbicide imazapyr from boats on 200 riverbank sites along 25 miles of the Eel was first sprung on the public on July 10 at an invitation-only meeting […]