Categories: Letters

Letters: Herbicide use in SF parks

“Why spray any toxic herbicides in City parks? ” Sally Stephens, July 30, 2018

Sally Stephens misrepresents San Francisco’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program. Publicly available data provided by City agencies to the Department of Environment tells a different story.

Since 2010, San Francisco has reduced its use of higher hazard herbicides (including Roundup) by 95 percent. In the case of the Recreation & Parks Department, use of these herbicides has declined by 97 percent since 2010 and by 84 percent from 2015 to 2016 alone.

This progress was made possible by San Francisco’s decision in 1996 to move away from a “just-spray-more-herbicides approach” to a transparent, highly regulated, science-based approach to managing pests, rodents, and weeds. In practice, what this means is simple: pesticides are used judiciously and only as a last resort. All of this underscores what a tiny role pesticides play in The City’s pest and weed management efforts. City departments devote extensive resources to volunteer weeding programs (90,000 volunteer hours in 2017 for Rec and Park), designing new and remodeled buildings to keep pests out in the first place, developing national-level guidelines on pest prevention, pilot testing wildlife-safe methods of rodent control, and training hundreds of City staff and affordable housing managers each year in state-of-the-art, safer pest management approaches.

There are very few — if any cities — that have accomplished as much as San Francisco in protecting our residents and our environment. Many public agencies nationwide, including Boulder, Colorado, Montgomery County, Maryland, and Seattle, Washington, now have IPM programs modelled after ours.

We are proud of the work we do.

Chris Geiger
Integrated Pest Management Senior Coordinator
San Francisco Department of Environment

Examiner Readers
Share
Published by
Examiner Readers

Recent Posts

Smoky skies shut down historic cable cars

San Francisco’s cable cars were taken out of service due to poor air quality conditions, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation…

4 mins ago

As the death toll rises to 56, hope fades for those missing in Paradise fire

CHICO, Calif. — John Digby was on the phone with his son when there was a knock at his door…

5 mins ago

Judge gives thousands of Florida voters with rejected ballots time to fix signature problems

MIAMI — A federal judge has ordered Florida’s 67 elections supervisors to give thousands of voters whose ballots were rejected…

11 mins ago

UPDATED: SF schools close due to deteriorating air quality

San Francisco public schools will be closed Friday due to increases in unhealthy air quality caused by wildfires in Northern…

26 mins ago

Observation Post at the Presidio is demolished

Officials with the Presidio Trust and Golden Gate National Recreation Area gathered along with members of the public to observe…

3 hours ago

BART board approves Ford GoBike dock near 24th Street station

BART’s newest Ford GoBike station is bound for a location near the 24th Street Mission BART Station after a proposal…

3 hours ago