BLM herbicide story |

BLM herbicide story

Reporter Dave Moller called me last week regarding a proposed 17-state herbicide spray proposal by the Bureau of Land Management that would result in tripling the use of chemical herbicides on BLM’s public lands. I was a little taken aback by what I saw reported on the front page of The Union on Friday (“Citizens fear herbicide proposal”). I would like to set the record straight.

First of all, I am a staff biologist for the “California Indian Basketweavers Association” – not the “Basket” association, as reported. We are an “intertribal” organization (I don’t know what an “inner tribal” organization might be) working to protect and maintain California Indian contemporary and traditional arts and culture. Mr. Moller purports to quote me, writing: “‘The chemicals are similar to Agent Orange like they used in Vietnam. They’re trying to turn the inner mountains into one big pasture to please cattle and chemical company interests.” Well, that is not too far off the mark, but in the interest of truthful journalism, what I said was that some of the chemicals are similar to Agent Orange (2,4-D, triclopyr, picloram). And, I don’t know what the “inner mountains” are, but as reported to Mr. Moller, much of the herbicides will be used in the region called the Intermountain Region, a classification in common usage to describe much of the western region between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada/Cascades, including the Great Basin-in other words, east of the Sierra Nevada.

It is unfortunate that in the desire to get a story out and to simplify complex issues for the general reading public, inaccurate reporting is too often the result. Thank you for the opportunity to correct those misstatements.

Vivian Parker



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