UPDATE Aug 12, 2018: Residents seek clearer information from province on herbicide spraying
Mairin Prentiss for CBC News
Woods and Waters NS has posted a copy of a notice about herbicide spraying by Northern Pulp, but as of yet, there is no information under Pesticide Applications Approvals on the NSE website.
Funnily enough, coincidence or not, I had just made a comment on WWNS about the lack of info on the NSE site about 2018 spraying and begun this post and within minutes, six 2018 Pesticide Approvals appeared on the NSE website.
So the info is now there for MacMullin, JD Irving and Century Forestry Cos in Antigonish, Guysborough, Pictou, Colchester and Cumberland Cos, but at as I write, nothing for Northern Pulp spraying in Halifax, Colchester and Hants Co. The Approvals give the PIDs but do not state whether they are on Crown or Private Lands; presumably those posted are all on private lands.
There does not seem to be any mechanism for appealing the permits. (View NSE Q&E).
There is a Q&A section about herbicide spraying on the NP website, but I can’t find anything about locations times etc.
With the extra hot weather, which may represent faster climate warming than even that previously predicted, we might wonder why we are still borealizing our forests with the help of herbicides.
I had expected to see the NP approvals on the NSE website by the end of the day, but they are not. I guess the attitude is ‘nobody cares or needs to know because they can’t do anything about it anyway’ or something like that. Good to have Margaret Miller, a firm believer in herbicides, back in NSE.
Comment by JB on WWNS: Last year, when I asked Nova Scotia Environment why so much of the previously available information about the spray programs was no longer available on their website, I was told there had been a change in the “computer program.” Then, when pushed on the lack of transparency, this is what the Environment spokesperson said: “This system is used for all different types of approvals issued by Nova Scotia Environment, and generates the information needed for an approval.” There you have it. http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/1507709-opinion-clearcutting-and-herbicide-spraying-the-story-never-ends
Comment by AF: people with saws can do the same job as spray and leave nice hardwood mixed in. i would realy like to know the price per hactare to spray ?…if the mills realy wanted to help my community they could end there spray program and pay people with bushsaws to thin blocks not only would this put money back into the local economy it would also help with there public image.
And some other comments under the WWNS original post about the NP spraying illustrate that anything around herbicide spraying is likely to be a hot topic. Some would say an “emotional” topic…to which I would respond, yes it is because we (our governments, regulators etc) don’t actually address the topic rationally.
RR: Any maps/descriptors available showing spray areas?
WWNS: Guess a person has to call them. Perhaps there is something on-line but you’d think they would put that link in the ad. Basically satisfying the letter of the law (all low case in “letter”)
TM: They’ve clear cut huge areas in Antigonish co- Langille bros doing all the work. Looks like crap here now…doesn’t look like they’re stopping any time soon
BW: Also note that they don’t actually name the products they will be spraying. I think that has to be posted on any signage at spray sites. I wonder if they’ll bother to do so?
— SB: What about people with respiratory diseases, COPD, asthma, allergies, etc.?
HHW: And people wonder why there’s such an increase in chronic illness.
SC: And they wonder why the birds and bees are dying and everyone has cancer
DGP: Yup suppress the hardwoods, bring on the softwoods – plan ahead for warmer years and their demise. And where are the Approvals for 2018?? – they are NOT posted at https://novascotia.ca/nse/pesticide-spray/
KO: Why is it big deal if NP wants to do some spraying ..? Everyone is alright with the farmers spraying for bugs and weeds .. .. it’s alright for a farmer to spray to protect there crops .. why is this any different..?
–Woods and Waters Nova Scotia Ah, the old farming / forestry / crop come back.. No one said everyone is alright with farmers spraying. But at least we can wash off the crap before eating it. And there’s a lot more to it than that. It’s the mono-culture plantations being grown as opposed to a biodiversified ecosystem based forest.
–BKH: It’s also the fact that they come in with helicopters for a “controlled spray” and leak the poison into the waterways.
–BS: Tree huggers are the worse!!
–CM: BS.. worse than those who spray poison? Trees have incredible energy. Maybe if more people hugged a tree, they might understand the insanity in cutting down huge swaths to make paper to wipe our arses.
–DGP: The massive use of glyphosate on farms and near 100% elimination of “weeds”, innocuous or not, has to be major factor in the decline of many insects, pollinators, birds and other wildlife in N.A…when weeds are just set back by gentler techniques, they come back after the crops are established and then remain food sources for wildlife..today those are mostly gone. The glyphosate seeps into our water and at levels high enough in some areas to affect bacteria in our guts.. there is a lot of evidence that this is having effects on our immune systems*, not to mention multiple effects on wildlife at large. Our Environment Minister, MM, talks about how safe it is to use glyphosate on farms… Have a look at the following as an example; we are too complacent about glyphosate use on farms . How Roundup® Poisoned my Nature Reserve
*e.g., see Sex-dependent impact of Roundup on the rat gut microbiome Veronica L.Lozano et al, 2017. Toxicology Reports Volume 5, 2018, Pages 96-107
TJF: We all just have to put our foot down and stand up and fight for mother earth stand against the goverment and there stupid logic..
TLLP: I posted a notice for spraying of the railway system too last week. I do not consent! I suggest we all contact our MLA’s and let them know we Do Not Consent!!!
And from DW separately: Last year some aerial spraying was being done prior to the advertised date of beginning and on a breezy day . I wonder what they will do this year ?
There is a limited window for spraying:
There are presently two types of herbicides registered for forestry use:
Root uptake herbicides such as Velpar L (Hexazinone) and Princep Nine-T (Simazine) are most commonly used for weed control before planting. These are applied in early spring when plants begin to grow. They work best if applied to just before light rains which moves the herbicide into the soil where it is taken up by the roots.
Leaf intake herbicides such as Vision (Glyphosate) are usually applied in late summer (August-September) when softwoods have hardened off and are dormant. Hardwoods and other herbaceous plants are still actively growing and are killed by the application of Vision. This releases the conifers from the overtopping cover of weeds during the next growing season.
Chemical weed control reduces, but does not eliminate, the competition for light and space and gives the planted seedlings room to grow.
Manual weed control is not as effective or as feasible as herbicides since most competing vegetation sprout vigorously after cutting. Manual weeding would likely need to be repeated several times to ensure plantation success. Usually, herbicides need only be applied once during the life of a forest stand (40-80 years depending on length of the rotation). – NS Woodlot Management Home Study Program – Module 5: Stand Establishment
Under FSC Maritimes certification, “Woodland owners must commit to eliminating use of herbicides and other pesticides. Some allowance is provided for major outbreaks of insects and to control invasive exotic vegetation, if no other method is reasonable.”
Also view: OPINION: Clearcutting and herbicide spraying: the story never ends
Thx to NL for forwarding that item
Joan baxter in Chronicle Herald, Sep 29, 2017