It was inevitable: a walk into a Native Plant area (aka Natural Areas Program areas) yielded yet another new pesticide notice. Last time, Imazapyr at Stern Grove. This time, Aquamaster at Lake Merced, targeting ludwigia (water-primrose).
Aquamaster is a pesticide based on glyphosate, and has been advertised as one of the safest toxins out there. New research suggests this safety may have been overstated; we posted recently about glyphosate and birth defects. Since these defects also appear in the chicken embryos that were used in the experiments, we’re not confident that herbicides will boost the breeding success of Lake Merced’s water-birds. [Edited to add: And the red-legged frog — see the comment below from MillionTrees.] (Then again, it is next to a golf course, where more herbicides are used.)
There’s a spiffy new format for pesticide reports, shown above. And it’s true Integrated Pest Management is an improvement – if it’s actually implemented.
When someone sent us a copy of the pesticide use reports for San Francisco’s Natural Areas Program, we learned:
- They were incomplete (some areas where we’d seen notices weren’t reported);
- Some of the pesticides which were reported had been used in unpermitted ways (e.g. sprayed instead of applied directly);
- Pesticides had been used without prior approval (e.g. Imazapyr at Stern Grove).
With the record-keeping being a bit iffy, we will take it on faith that pesticide use has been drastically reduced, but the actual numbers may be speculative.