Tony Linegar, Assistant Agricultural Commissioner from the Mendocino County Agriculture Department, was present to answer questions and provide brochures on pesticides.
Director Ziady said the Recreation, Greenbelt and Conservation Committee
had received reports of pesticide abuse, including in greenbelt abatement areas, and expressed the committee's concern for the effect this would have on our watershed.
commented that the District office had researched the issue in preparation for the meeting and presented alternatives with which the committee was pleased, and the committee wanted staff and the Board to look more closely at this issue.
took the podium and advised he
had recently discussed some of these issues with District staff, and he
agreed that probably the best way to go was public education, specifically on providing alternatives to pesticide use.
said a lot of government entities have tried to promulgate their own ordinances to regulate pesticide use, but you simply cannot do this as state laws preempt this. (Sec. 11501.1.) He
then provided a copy of a letter sent by the state to an entity which had passed their own ordinance, ordering them to repeal it.
recommended using a combination of techniques to control pests rather than just herbicides, and referred to the brochures for more details.
said the District
could establish its own "best management" policies for its own property and he
would recommend that.
cautioned that a lot of materials are called "organic," but just because they are naturally occurring doesn't mean they can't be dangerous.
cited gopher dust, which can irritate your breathing and eyes when it drifts.
commented that vinegar can burn down the top of the plant pretty well, but the roots won't be killed, and it is very toxic and corrosive to work with, dangerous to eyes and skin.
The type used is industrial strength vinegar, not household strength.
commented, the pH is 1 and this will affect the soil.
said it will work with repeated applications, but the plants will grow back from the roots.
As to these substances getting into groundwater and the watershed, he
said the legal requirements on the label are designed to prevent this, and if these directions are followed exactly, they are relatively safe.
didn't think he
would use a lot of vinegar in his
own garden, due to the pH. As to Roundup
thought it was one of the most benign herbicides, although there has been recent information that it can be hard on aquatic life.
said, there are aquatic versions of Roundup
, including Rodeo, that can be legally sprayed right on water (for cattails).
could be overused.
President Orth asked about corn gluten meal; Mr. Linegar said that in his opinion it is ineffective.
said there are good home remedies, but they may be more toxic than pesticides; for ants he
always recommends boric acid.
said the companies don't have to disclose their inert ingredients, which can be a significant amount of the volume.
However, before a material can be registered as organic, the inert materials must be revealed.
The OMNI seal on a label shows it is approved for organic use.
The Agriculture Department is also available to identify pest problems; photos can be e-mailed and identified on the internet; recommendations are made as to appropriate pesticides.
Discussion followed about animal pest management.
The directors agreed that the matter should be sent to the Specific Plan Committee
said probably the most dangerous pesticide use that can occur in this area is tenting homes for fumigation, and this might be appropriate to include in the newsletter.
The Board thanked Mr. Linegar
for coming to the meeting.