The email correspondence below is a follow-up to the Letter from Cynthia Grier of EcoLogic Life sent to the County of Ventura. (OjaiPost , Time to End Toxic Herbicides on the Ojai Bike Trail.)
Theresa Lubin from the Ventura County Parks Department has agreed to research grant funding to provide for alternative methods for weed abatement on the Ojai Bike trail. Hopefully we can all continue to be heard on this issue. It may require us helping to organize volunteer days.
Thanks for your support and your voices!
Cynthia Grier, Certified Green Building Professional / Designer
EcoLogic Life – green design resource center, www.ecologiclife.com
Note: To read emails in chronological order, scroll to the bottom of the page
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: RE: Ojai Bike Trail Pesticide Concern
Date: Fri, January 18, 2013 11:52 am
To: “Theresa Lubin”
Cc: “James Martinez” ,
Steve.Offerman@ventura.org, “Bennett” ,
“Cindy Cantle” , “Brian Brennan”
Your efforts are greatly appreciated. Will you please also post a ‘Spraying Ahead” sign at either end of the work area. This is common practice in other states where I have lived.
Certified Green Building Professional / Designer
EcoLogic Life – green design resource center www.ecologiclife.com
EcoLogic LifeStyle – travel guide www.ecologiclifestyle.com
111 W. Topa Topa St.
in the Ojai Design Center
Ojai, CA 93023
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Ojai Bike Trail Pesticide Concern
From: “Theresa Lubin”
Date: Fri, January 18, 2013 11:04 am
Cc: “James Martinez”
Dear Ms. Grier-
Thank you for your message. I appreciate the concerns that you and others have about pesticide exposure. We will continue to seek out practical alternatives to herbicides, and I will add this effort to the department’s list of projects to seek grant funding for. In the meantime, the Parks Department website will announce in advance when the twice-per-year applications will occur (typically a few days in mid winter and late summer/fall) so that you and others can avoid any exposure.
>>> 1/14/2013 10:37 AM >>>
Hello Ms Lubin
Thank you for your response (below) and the detailed information. I know there are also many others who have also contacted you with their concerns about your use of the chemical herbicide Round Up from Monsanto on the Ojai Bike Trail.
While I can appreciate the efforts you are making to reduce toxins, the fact is that you are still using toxins in an area that is both recreational and a transportation zone for area residents. The Ojai Valley is challenged with keeping our air quality in check, so many residents are beginning to use bicycles as a mode of transportation. However, the use of herbicides on the trail will dramatically discourage this.
I am one of many people who suffer ill effects anytime I come in contact with herbicides and pesticides, no matter how weak or diluted. There are more and more individuals become sensitive to these and other chemicals, primarily from repeated small exposures like this. It is time that the thousands of Ojai Valley residents that do have sensitivities to these chemicals be considered disabled and that by conforming with ADA laws, we are allowed to have use of the bike trail in a way that accommodates our disabilities.
So, I am requesting that the use of any and all chemicals stops now, and that you coordinate efforts with Mr. Bennett’s office for any additional funding that could be voted on in the county budget, as well as sourcing for grants. I would also suggest coordinating with the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy and the Ojai Valley Green Coalition to assist in a call to action for volunteers to help in managing weeds.
And, on another note, even the weaker formulation of Round Up is very toxic to dogs, horses, and other animals that are in the vicinity of the trail.
Your immediate efforts will be deeply appreciated.
From: Theresa Lubin
Cc: Steve Offerman
Sent: Friday, January 4, 2013 11:32 AM
Subject: Ojai Trail Pesticide Concern
Dear Ms Grier,
Thank you for contacting the Ventura County Parks Department regarding your concerns about pesticide use. The Parks Department is also sensitive about pesticides, and practices pesticide-free maintenance wherever feasible. The department has restricted the use of fertilizer, herbicide or other pesticide on park lawns, uses mulch extensively for weed control, and does not use rodenticides.
With 18 miles of trail shoulder to maintain and a very limited maintenance crew and budget, the twice-yearly spraying with a minimally toxic herbicide is the only practicable weed control option. The use of cost-effective weed control enables the Parks Department to have adequate resources available to properly maintain the trail and other County park facilities. Pavement resurfacing, sweeping, fence repair, and tree trimming for the 9-mile trail are a significant annual expense.
The County has conducted extensive research and discussed pesticide application with resource agencies such as the California Department of Fish and Game. After evaluating many vegetation control products the County has found no alternatives with less potential toxicity. That led to the determination that as long as we follow all mandatory laws and regulations and implement additional best management practices and protocols to minimize Glyphosate use, then potential risks to humans, wildlife and the environment remain very low. Our Parks Department employees are issued light protective gear out of caution for people who use these products on a regular basis.
In response to your concern, the Parks Department will post a notice on the department website:
http://portal.countyofventura.org/portal/page/portal/GSA/parks_department_-_Directory approximately one to three weeks in advance of the twice-per-year applications along the trail. The department also operates two trails that are entirely pesticide free: Shelf Road and Sulphur Mountain Road. Other trail owners such as the US Forest Service or Ojai Valley Land Conservancy also have pesticide-free trails.
Thank you for sending us your comment; it has enabled us to better serve our customers. We are always on the look-out for ways to improve our service, and for ways to reduce or eliminate pesticide use. We will employ new methods as they become available. I hope you continue to enjoy Ventura County Parks Department facilities.
Theresa Lubin, RLA
Ventura County Parks Department Manager