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Vernon  

No more spraying

A petition demanding the Ministry of Forests not spray a chemical cocktail over a reforested area has garnered thousands of signatures.

Almost 67,000 people have signed the online petition by Stop the Spray BC in an effort to stop the spraying of forest that have been replanted over the past five to 10 years.

"When a boreal forest regrows after logging, it is a paradise for wildlife like bees, moose, birds, and beavers, with a large selection of food including fireweed, poplar (aspen), birch, willow, grass, and many other plants that are critical to wildlife," the petition states.

“However, to industrial forestry, only one type of tree has value – conifer trees like Lodgepole Pine. Utilizing helicopters equipped with spray nozzles and tanks of herbicides, companies spray these cutblocks five - 10 years after logging with industrial-strength glyphosate to kill every plant that isn't a conifer. The effects are devastating and long-lasting, as a forest without aspen will support far fewer wildlife, and especially moose, than one with.”

The petition claims the only reason so called 'weed-trees' are sprayed is because they have no commercial value.

Cherryville resident Debra Werner said one of the “herbicides that they are proposing to use is now a known carcinogen, and is currently under reinvestigation by Health Canada.

“Another big issue is that the spraying of our forests leaves vast areas of dry, dead plants and grasses creating fire hazards, as well as killing off broadleaf tree species known to be fire deterrents … as well as being needed by wildlife for food.”

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver brought the matter up in Question Period last November and said every year in B.C., 16,000 hectares are sprayed with a herbicide that is likely a carcinogen.

Weaver said spraying the replanted areas also causes a mono-crop forest that is more susceptible to wildfires and pine beetle infestation.

Weaver said there is also reduced wildlife in areas that have been sprayed.



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