It’s Spring! It’s Twin Peaks! It’s toxic Garlon herbicide!

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.


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.

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3 Responses to It’s Spring! It’s Twin Peaks! It’s toxic Garlon herbicide!

  1. Pingback: Glen Canyon Glorious « FOREST KNOLLS

  2. Petra M. Blix, Ph.D. says:

    Anyone concerned about the toxicity of herbicides, the cumulative effects of herbicides on health and the environment, and the misinformation disseminated by Monsanto should take a look at this video, The World According to Monsanto (1 hour, 49 minutes). You can watch it online for free:

    There is no such thing as a safe herbicide. Dr. Relyea, ecology professor at the University of Pittsburgh says, “I think what’s clear is that pesticides have an immense potential for unintended impacts, and organisms – humans or otherwise- are immensely complicated and those unintended impacts are really hard to predict.”

    Commercial pesticides contain over 800 active ingredients and Dr. Relyea’s research has shown that many of the most commonly used pesticides, alone or in combination, are lethal to amphibians. His research has also shown that many pesticides are lethal at concentrations lower than those reported to be safe. Since the decline of amphibian populations is considered an indicator of environmental degradation and pollution, these studies are very important.

    Anyone who believes that herbicides are relatively harmless or degrade rapidly is sadly mistaken. The video states that Monsanto’s own data shows that only 2% of the herbicide RoundUp is broken down after 28 days.

    The most important question the video raises is:
    If Monsanto hid the deleterious effects of other products for years knowing that they had a serious impact on human health, what are they hiding from us now?

  3. Patric Henry says:

    Where can I get some of this stuff. I’m completely invaded and surrounded by gamble oak. It’s choking the life out of my gardens. My ecology has gone to hell. I can’t get rid of it!

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