Pine Lake with Pollution and Pesticides

Someone sent us a note, recently. “There was a sign up at Pine Lake today warning people that the water was polluted!” it said. And here is the picture attached:


“All around the lake, walkers were talking about the NAP [Natural Areas Program],” the note continued.  “Probably all those poisons they keep spraying!’  I heard over and over.”

And then, a follow-up note with another photograph: “There it is – big as life – just a few hundred feet from all the other signs about how unsafe the water is!  It boggles the mind!”

It’s disturbing. Pine Lake, which is at one end of Stern Grove, is popular with children (in fact, there’s a camp close by) and dog-walkers (marked “Laguna Puerca” in the map below).  It’s a well-loved, well-used space. This isn’t the first time someone has sent us a pesticide picture; the last time, it was for pesticides inside the actual lake.

This time, it’s Aquamaster (glyphosate) and Milestone VM (aminopyralid).  We’ve written about Aquamaster before, and it’s bad enough. But we’re particularly disturbed by the use of Milestone. San Francisco’s Department of the Environment classifies it as a Tier I chemical because it sticks around. It’s so persistent that if an animal or bird eats the poisoned plant, its droppings become poisonous. In fact, Dow stopped selling Milestone in the UK because people found it poisoned their compost. So the places that have been sprayed in Pine Lake? They’re going to be Milestoned for a long time.

The so-called “Natural Areas Program” seems to have decided its mandate is to create Native Plant gardens by any means necessary: Chainsaws, poisons, and pollution.

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