San Francisco Forest Alliance is a 501(c)4 not-for-profit organization with a mission of Inclusive Environmentalism. We oppose the use of toxic pesticides in our parks, public lands, and watersheds.
- Herbicidal chemicals are more toxic, more persistent, more mobile and more dangerous than their manufacturers disclose;
- The aesthetic or ideological “danger” from “weeds” is not a risk to health and welfare;
- Scientific studies associate exposure to herbicides with cancer, developmental and learning disabilities, nerve and immune system damage, liver or kidney damage, reproductive impairment, birth defects, and disruption of the endocrine system;
- There is no safe dose of exposure to those chemicals because they persist in soil, water, and animal tissue, so even low levels of exposure could still accumulate and harm humans, animals, and the environment;
- Especially vulnerable individuals include infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, people with compromised immune systems and chemical sensitivities;
- Toxic runoff from herbicides pollute streams and groundwater, and therefore the drinking water sources;
- Herbicides are harmful to pets and wildlife – including threatened and endangered species, plants, and natural ecosystems;
- Herbicides are harmful to soil microbiology and contaminate soil into the future, reducing biodiversity in sensitive areas.
People have a right not to be involuntarily exposed to herbicides in the air, water or soil that inevitably result from chemical drift and contaminated runoff. With the many court cases against Monsanto regarding Roundup, land managers have been considering reducing the use of this herbicide at one time considered safe. This is not enough. In many cases, other herbicides are being used instead – and these may be even more harmful than the ones being replaced, albeit with less research available.
We must do better by limiting synthetic herbicide use only to those classified as “minimum risk” by EPA.
It’s not impossible.
• The Marin Municipal Water District has been herbicide free since 2005.
• In a 2017 pilot project, Marin successfully demonstrated that traffic medians could be maintained without glyphosate (the only synthetic herbicide previously used on medians). Marin County will continue to move forward without herbicides on all medians and roadside landscapes.
• The City of Richmond completely banned use of all herbicides by the city in 2016.
• France banned pesticides from public forests, parks and gardens since the end of 2016, and in 2019 will extend it to private gardens.
We should immediately be moving toward the goal of No Pesticides in our Parks and Watersheds.