KITSAP COUNTY STOPS USE OF GLYPHOSATE!
On Wednesday, May 22, the board of Kitsap County Commissioners issued Resolution 085-2019 that stops the spraying of glyphosate on county-administered properties such as roadsides, parks, and school grounds. (The resolution makes an exception for the targeted control of noxious weeds.) It further mandates extending education about herbicides to entities beyond the county’s direct purview. This new regulation takes a big step forward in the protection of people, water, soil, and habitat in our county.
The County has no jurisdiction over individuals’ use of Roundup and other toxic herbicides, nor the lumber companies’ on their clear cuts. Thus, much work remains for KEC’s education and action efforts.
To what degree has KEC’s picketing, meetings with elected officials, and education through publications and social media determined this welcome county ban on glyphosate? To what extent have the huge settlements of lawsuits in California—the latest one for over $2 billion—spurred more and more local governments to think about their liability in permitting the widespread use of carcinogenic herbicides? Has Pope Resources, with their wanton clearcutting (see the ugly gash in the landscape along Bond Road between Kingston and Poulsbo—even when simply leaving a buffer of trees could have lessened the horror) created a tipping point of public opinion regarding the lumber industry’s practices?
In any case, Kitsap is starting to move toward a sane environmental policy and guarantee the health of future generations. To quote Pam Keeley:
“Together, a ragtag band of geriatrics and Kitsap County officials set precedent for the rest of the State of Washington, but our work isn’t over. KEC’s commitment to community education will continue and our work to stop Pope Resources from spraying toxic pesticides and retool their barbaric timber practices cannot let up.”
PASSAGE OF SSB 5597—WORK GROUP ON AERIAL SPRAY OF GLYPHOSATE IN WASHINGTON
Sen. Christine Rolfes’s bill, which unanimously passed both the WA House and Senate and was signed on May 9, mandates the formation of a work group on aerial herbicide applications in forestlands. The study group will consist of about twenty people: representatives from both parties in the legislature, representatives of government agencies (Natural Resources, Agriculture, Fish & Wildlife, Ecology, Health), some forest and farm landowners, aerial applicators, three environmental / community people, tribal representative(s), and a person with noxious weeds experience. (Editor’s note: No scientists.) The group is mandated to study research and current practices regarding aerial spraying of herbicides, and end by making recommendations to the legislature. Its activity begins July 28 and ends this December.
The bill is a first step—a baby step. The very makeup of the group, including officeholders beholden to corporate interests, and aerial sprayers, suggests that this legislation is not going to save anyone soon from being poisoned. But for Sen. Rolfes, at least it starts the conversation in a divided legislature. Thank you.
JOINT MEETING WITH JEFFERSON COUNTY
THE KEC and the Jefferson County Environmental Coalition held a joint meeting that packed the library at Port Hadlock on May 22. Sen. Rolfes came and spoke about her study-group bill (see above). She took questions and a lively, well-informed discussion ensued. Ellen O’Shea, who spearheads the JeffCo group, presided. The two coalitions are stronger for sharing knowledge and working together in the effort to maintain a healthy environment in the face of corporate assaults.
KEC now has its signature T-shirt and other KEC Logo Gear. You can purchase a tee in your size, or you can have one custom-screened using your very own shirt. (This second option is great since you’ll know it fits well.) Make a fashion statement wherever you go—picnicking or picketing, a proven conversation starter.
Get your shirt at Kingston Mail & Print, 8202 State Hwy 104, next to Albertson’s. Pre-printed shirts cost about $25; if you bring your own tee for printing, It’s ten bucks cheaper. Call 360-297-2173 for more info and exact pricing.
HELP WANTED ~COMMUNITY MARKETS
Volunteering to hand out KEC literature and answer questions about herbicides and healthy alternatives is a great way to talk with people, take the pulse of our communities, and promote ecological awareness. Now we can also be the county’s foot soldiers in explaining glyphosate’s perils, and further provide information on the need to change local forestry practices that currently rely on clearcutting and the spraying of chemicals. Unsure of what to say? We’ve prepared a sheet of talking points.
Coordinating our presence at farmers’/ community markets: Tom DeBor, at firstname.lastname@example.org . Contact him to volunteer. We need you.
THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
Two KEC representatives spoke at the North Kitsap League of Women Voters meeting May 21 about glyphosate, spraying, and the KEC. Last year, the LWV beautifully researched and put together a detailed report about water in Kitsap County, which has been of great use to KEC. Attendees discussed how the LWV and KEC can work together to ensure the safety of water. An important joint forum on Kitsap’s water could be held in spring of 2020 from these exciting beginnings.
PAPER DISPOSAL IN POST OFFICES
We learned to our dismay that the advertising circulars & other paper that folks throw into bins in local post offices don’t go into recycling, but into the trash! This amounts to hundreds of pounds of paper per month even in a tiny town like Hansville. Inquire at your own local post office what happens to discarded paper there. If they don’t recycle, throw as much as you can into your pickup or station wagon from those bins and take to the recycling section of the dump. Alternatively, organize community members to fund recycling pickup for your post office.