Stop the Spray BC will be holding a rally on August Tuesday, August 17 noon demanding government inform the public of where and when Canfor will be spraying glyphosate in forests this year.
Three thousand hectares of cutblocks will be getting aerial sprayed with glyphosate weedkiller within the next month, most of it in the Upper Fraser including the Northern Wetbelt and Inland Temperate Rainforest, according to the group.
Current policy is to not inform the public of which cutblocks will be getting sprayed or when. There is no legal requirement for government or industry to do so.
“Setting aside the sheer stupidity and insanity of eliminating and contaminating the highest-biodiversity native species in our forest that sequester the most carbon, absorb the least amount of heat, and stop the most fires, those being the aspen, cottonwood and birch, the secrecy under which this is carried out must end,” said Stop the Spray BC spokesperson James Steidle in a news release.
One of the reasons for the notification is to avoid getting sprayed. On August 20, 2016, a horse rider in Buckhorn, near Prince George, Shandy Andrysiak was sprayed along with her horse while she was out for a ride, says Steidle.
Other reasons include giving the public the opportunity to document areas planned for spraying to show the pointlessness and damage to our ecosystems such activity entails and maybe get some places set aside. Finally, it would provide people the opportunity to avoid areas for berry harvesting, hunting or camping, not only during the spray season, but the following years when sprayed areas will produce berries contaminated with glyphosate.
“The last thing you want to do is be out there having a spiritual connection with nature and a chopper to fly up with a spray boom raining a concoction of death on you and your forest,” he said. “Maybe the risk of cancer is low but the psychological damage will be long-lasting.
A lot of this secrecy is about ensuring other values on the landscape aren’t protected.”