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Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 11:06:48 -0800
To: Vince Taylor <vtaylor@mcn.org>
From: Jerry Juhl <jjuhl@mcn.org>
Subject: Re: Caution about gorse "policy"

Dear Vince,

Thanks for copying me on this message.

I've sort of come in on the middle of a debate here, I guess, but since I'm
in SF next weekend and won't be able to attend the meeting, I thought I'd
let you know my opinion.

Gorse scares hell out of me. I wasn't kidding at the Halloween parade! I
the thing that keeps gnawing at me is a remark made by an ecologist (from
UC Berkeley, I think) several years ago at a gorse workshop held at the
Catholic Church in Mendocino. He said that the invasive plants gorse,
pampas grass, and broom, would cause more destruction to the environment of
Mendocino in the next twenty years than ALL human development. When I walk
around Jughandle, I start to believe it.

Well-meaning folks, whose concerns I largely applaud, have kept Parks Dept.
from using herbicides at Jughandle. The alternatives have not worked, big
time! No, volunteers will NOT dig out all the gorse in Jughandle. I know
how much work and how much money is spent every year just on our land to
keep the gorse under control. That's as much as we can hope for. Without
herbicides, we will never get rid of the stuff... and it is spreading
insidiously into inaccesible areas, where it's virtually impossible to
grub out.

So I want to hear the argument for herbicide use. I want to know how it
might be applied, what safety measures can be taken, what are the risks,
what are the benefits? Herbicides are dangerous, so is gorse... all we can
do is choose among dangers, and we should know what we're doing.

I'm not suggesting that the Community take a Pro-Round-up stand, but this
is certainly a problem where we should be out in front, educating folks on
the alternatives, including the chemical ones!

I'm really sorry that this topic, of all things, will not get the publicity
it deserves to get a big turnout on Sunday. (And personally bummed that I
won't be in town for ir!) Any chance you can make this a two-parter and
carry over some of the discussion for a month?

JJ

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