LETTER: Clallam going backward in herbicide use

The county says it wants to spot spray, but that won’t stay in one place. It rains here, after all.

Some see only noxious weeds and want to herbicide them to death.

Others realize there are human and wildlife consequences to do this.

For 26 years, Clallam County banned poisons from controlling roadside vegetation.

The county timely mowed and created mowing jobs.

As the roads department cut mowing cycles and staff, weeds got out of hand.

The county noxious weed department claims mowing is the only tool that can be used and is insufficient.

At any time, county staff could use additional nontoxic methods — digging, pulling and injecting heat into the soil.

The noxious weed and road departments want to get rid of the ban and spray roadsides, as they do in our county parks.

The county says it will spot spray.

Did you notice the recent heavy rains and winds?

Point being, poisons don’t remain on a spot.

Your neighbors’ spot spray will be on your property.

The nearly 30 allowed herbicides in Washington state have serious consequences for pollinators — birds, bees and butterflies, and for marine life, pets and humans.

Supporters of using poisons claim people opposed are fear-mongering and emotional.

Science-based studies show these chemicals cause cancer, endocrine disruption, birth defects, respiratory problems and kidney and liver dysfunction.

They leach into groundwater and run off with stormwater.

Studies have shown that even low levels of pesticide exposure can be harmful to children, according to an article in The Hindu publication (http://tinyurl.com/PDN-herbicides).

Communities in California, Colorado and elsewhere are making inroads to stop herbicide use, while Clallam County is going backward.

Tell your county commissioners if you want more poisons in our county or less.

Darlene Schanfald,


Schanfald is secretary and spokeswoman for the Sequim-based Olympic Environmental Council.