Applause to the Pesticide Action Network of Blaine County for working with the Blaine County Recreation District to use goats to take down the noxious weeds along the bike path rather than spraying toxic herbicides twice during the summer. I love riding the bike path but have avoided it for the past three years because of the spray factor. The goats are a nontoxic alternative to chemical sprays known to have long-term health effects that none of us want, like cancers, asthma and other serious illnesses.
Do not be fooled by landscape companies that tell you their product is not toxic and better yet, "organic." Anyone with a basic chemistry background will tell you that organic chemicals comprise our pharmaceuticals, the most toxic sprays, plastics and a lot of other things you would not want to ingest or have any exposure to along with your children, friends or pets. Ask to see the label of what they are applying and then Google it to see the hazards of using such a chemical on your lawn or trees.
Each summer, the Blaine County weed superintendent and his crew spray the sides of the roads in Blaine County for noxious weeds. The county will allow property owners to "adopt" the rights of way along their property. My neighborhood started hand-pulling weeds along Empty Saddle Trail and Trail's End. Our right of way has not been sprayed for 14 years because there are no weeds to spray.
The sad news about chemical sprays is the damage they do to the soil; the only things that can grow in that toxic earth are noxious weeds. It has taken 12 years for the wild onions, geraniums and penstemons to make a slow comeback.
Our neighborhood is alongside the Big Wood River and there are still private homeowners on the river who spray like crazy with the runoff going right into the river.
It really is time to stop the insanity. There are many alternatives to toxic pesticides. Let's all work together to make Blaine County spray-free. Please go to www.pesticideactionnetwork.net and look for the "Become a Supporter" link. It's free to add your name, and together we can start making this a truly healthy and not artificially green community.
Christine N. Cole