Tell Caltrans: Find another way! Don't Spray!!

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For the past four decades, Caltrans has refrained from spraying in Trinity County. They have recently announced their intentions to begin spraying chemical herbicides in the state right-of-way’s throughout Trinity County as early as this spring.

We believe this sudden change in policy is being motivated by California’s recent wildfires coupled with a change in leadership and perspective in the Ag Department of Trinity County as well as Caltrans, District 2.  Over the past few weeks, there have been several meetings with this topic featured. Each time, the public has overfilled the meeting space to express their deep concern and opposition of what looks to be a unilateral decision.

Many in attendance of the meetings have asked for disclosures to the public, but Caltrans representatives have not been willing to share details. They have refused to reveal what chemicals will be used, when they plan to use them and how often they will spray.  They have not been supportive of public requests to post notices to the public before, during or after spraying.

Trinity is pristine, clean and beautiful, and we want to keep it that way. We are known for, and economically dependent on outdoor recreation and tourism along the river, creeks, lakes and in the mountains. Our watersheds are sensitive ecosystems and support life for endangered species. There are also many county residences, businesses, schools and farms that are reliant on surface waters that are situated right next to state right-of-ways that may be sprayed.

Chemicals do not stay where they are sprayed. The wind, rain, and insects can carry them far outside their intended boundaries potentially causing harmful effects and impacts beyond the immediate area for years to come. Some independent scientific studies are finding more questions and problems with herbicides than answers and solutions. Two recent high-profile lawsuits have ruled that Monsanto’s Roundup, the most widely used herbicide in the world, is causing cancer. This is just one example of why we do not want to spray now and ask questions later. We feel that the hidden costs and risks to us and our environment far outweigh the benefits of cheap chemicals.

We understand and appreciate Caltrans wanting to clear the roadsides for wild fire prevention but we want them to do so in a safe, non-toxic manner. Mowing and string trimming has been working for over 40 years, so why change now? At recent meetings, audience members have offered alternative solutions for Caltrans to meet its goals - from negotiations in employing workers, to deploying goats for clearing. Some offered a willingness to be taxed to fund alternatives. Concerned citizens have made it very clear; we don’t want any herbicide spraying! Please sign this petition and join Trinity County residents in telling local leaders and Caltrans: Find another way! Don’t Spray!