LETTER: Recent writer misconstrues intent of Clallam’s noxious weed plan

The writer of a recent letter claims mowing is the only tool for controlling noxious weeds. 

This statement is false.

I attended the presentation proposing an Integrated Roadside Weed Management plan, which graphically detailed noxious weeds’ adverse effects on agriculture, wildlife habitat and pollinators. I learned mowing inadvertently spreads weeds.

Instead, the proposed plan includes prevention, native plantings, hand pulling and selectively spot spraying individual weeds.

Since I am the host of “Weeds and Wildlife” on KSQM Radio, 91.5 FM, I was especially interested in the presentation, and I learned one important tool had been categorically excluded since 1997: the use of any herbicide for any reason.

The new plan would limit herbicide use and how it can be applied, proposing the most benign formulations in the smallest quantities.

The intent: allow beneficial plants a chance to overtake harmful plants — eventually substantially reducing the need for herbicides in the first place.

Even The Rachel Carson Council (Carson wrote “Silent Spring”) and the Sierra Club recognize threats posed by invasives and advances in technology.

They support use of carefully targeted biodegradable herbicides as “an essential component of habitat restoration,” according to the Sierra Club of Maryland.

Non-native weeds adapt to and invade new habitats, without environmental checks and balances (weather, diseases, insect pests), creating a “monoculture” that distorts the natural balance of native plants, according to the National Invasive Species Council.

Statements have been made that deliberately misconstrue presented material regarding herbicide use as intended by this plan, assuming wild and reckless behavior.

Allowing the Clallam County limited herbicide use, within a multi-pronged approach, adds a much-needed tool other levels of government have had all along.

Shelley Taylor,

Port Angeles