It’s spring again, it’s Garlon time! We recently published a picture taken near the reservoir. Now someone’s sent me these.
This is a worker spraying Garlon 4 Ultra on Twin Peaks… wearing a protective suit — but without the required respirator. We’re not sure if it’s a Rec Parks person, or a Shelterbelt Builders employee or subcontractor (we understand that Shelterbelt has the contract). But whoever it it, please take care. The respirator is required for a reason, and it’s not to reduce the soil toxicity. As we’ve said before, Garlon is one the most toxic pesticides San Francisco permits.
[San Francisco’s Department of the Environment (DOE) classifies it as Tier I: Most Hazardous. It’s listed as HIGH PRIORITY TO FIND AN ALTERNATIVE (their caps). The use restrictions say: “Use only for targeted treatments of high profile or highly invasive exotics via dabbing or injection. May use for targeted spraying only when dabbing or injection are not feasible, and only with use of a respirator.”]
The target plant is yellow oxalis, which flowers all over Twin Peaks in the spring, providing nectar for bees and butterflies. Unfortunately, it’s considered an invasive non-native plant, so there it goes. We imagine a goodly amount of Garlon 4 Ultra will need to be used over a pretty broad area, since the oxalis is not exactly confined to a few odd patches.
THE FUTURE OF SUTRO FOREST?
Quite apart from our dismay at such toxic herbicides being used in “Natural Areas” at high points in the city (or at all), and without the prescribed precautions, we’re concerned that this is the future of Mount Sutro when the plans go through. Currently no herbicides are used in the UCSF portion of the forest. It may be the only pesticide-free wildland in the city. We’re also concerned that the project will extend into the city-owned Interior Greenbelt, especially with the opening of the new Kill-trees Trail, and herbicide use there will also rise.