After a two-year pause, Canfor has begun aerial herbicide near Prince George, claims the group Stop the Spray BC. They claim spray camp has been set up on the Pass Lake Road, complete with two helicopters.
“The goal is to poison deciduous trees like aspen, birch, cottonwood, along with all other vegetation to provide conifer seedlings with, in theory, unimpeded growth,” said James Steidle of Stop the Spray BC, in a statement. “However, research has shown the forest needs the competition not only for forest health but for fire-resistance. The program is designed to take out the most fire-resistant species, like aspen and birch, to grow the most fire-prone species, namely spruce and pine.”
He claims the plan is to use VisionMax, a glyphosate-based formulation.
“While Health Canada says glyphosate is safe, it has never formally studied VisionMax, let alone Roundup,” he said. “This failure is why Monsanto/Bayer lost three U.S. court cases, has lost all the appeals, and is now pulling this product from the shelves of stores in the United States. Yet we are spraying public forests with it.”
Canfor has put ribbons up in some cutblocks in Buckhorn, south of Prince George. These ribbons go above and beyond what is required by the law, but local residents are still left in the dark as to when this spraying will be happening, he said.
One of these cutblocks is right next to the private property of the Block family, who take daily walks in the cutblock, harvest berries there, and have two young children and a water system just downhill of the planned spraying.
Dale Block has parked vehicles in the block to hold off the spraying and is calling on people to help stop it.