Who’s Using Pesticides: Q1 Pesticides Report

We’ve been reporting that San Francisco’s Natural Areas Program (NAP) has been spraying increasing amounts of toxic pesticides in parks used by people, pets, and wildlife.  The San Francisco Department of the environment restricts the use of pesticides of land owned by the city, and it classifies permitted chemicals into three tiers: Tier III is the least hazardous; Tier II, more hazardous and Tier I, most hazardous pesticides.

Recently, someone asked us how NAP’s Tier I and Tier II pesticide use compares with the rest of SF Rec & Parks (SFRPD) usage. We hadn’t compiled the numbers (and neither, as far as we know, had the city).  But we’ve done so now for the first quarter, Jan-March 2013.

It’s pretty bad. NAP used three times as much of the most toxic chemicals as all the other SFRPD departments put together.

NAP vs Other SFRPD

[Edited to Add: We should note that these figures exclude Harding Park Golf Course. That's a separate case because apparently the city is under contract to maintain it to certain specifications that involve substantial amounts of pesticides.]

NAP was the only department to use Tier I herbicides.  They used Garlon 4 Ultra against oxalis in McLaren Park, Bayview Hill, Twin Peaks, and Mount Davidson. No other SFRPD area used any Tier I herbicides.  NAP doesn’t use any Tier III pesticides.

Our “Natural Areas” are getting hit with the most toxic chemicals the city permits.

Which areas did they target?

  • In March, it was Mc Laren and Glen Park.
  • In February, it was Twin Peaks, Mt Davidson, Lake Merced, Pine Lake, and Oak Woodlands in Golden Gate Park.
  • In January, it was Bayview, McLaren, and Twin Peaks.

Most of the pesticides used by NAP were applied by the contractors, Shelterbelt.

If this concerns you – as it does us – write to your representative on the Board of Supervisors. And write to the Mayor. These levels of pesticide use just don’t make sense for so-called “Natural Areas.”

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2 Responses to Who’s Using Pesticides: Q1 Pesticides Report

  1. Tony Holiday says:

    This is a serious mistake. Why is this not illegal? This is 2013, people! These crazies are spreading poison around where there are people and animals, not to mention vandalism of our beautiful healthy forest.

    [Webmaster: This refers to the plans for tree-felling on Mount Sutro. Those details are at http://www.sutroforest.com ]

    I cannot imagine what is going on in the minds of these so-called “experts.” Have they never heard of global warming? Whatever happened to common sense? Especially in people who should know better and are supposed to be dedicated to taking care of the forest. And what’s really nuts — that “view corridor” business. They want views, go to Twin Peaks. While I dearly love Twin Peaks, I certainly don’t want Mount Sutro to look just like it.

    Leave our mountains alone, evil developers — it certainly looks like they want to do more than just the Forest Knolls “overlook” that has unfortunately been okayed… That’s bad enough… jeez. Whoever buys that house for sale just down the block from it on Crestmont is in for a rude surprise with all the upcoming construction…

    [This refers to a new residential project recently approved for the slopes of Mount Sutro, called San Francisco Overlook. More information HERE.]

  2. Pingback: SF RPD Pesticides Report, 1st Half 2013 | San Francisco Forest Alliance

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