Pesticide use deserves explanation
Douglas County residents need to know their County Forestry Committee is quietly proceeding with a legally questionable herbicide application without adequate public notification. It's scheduled to occur soon in Lucius Woods Park in the village of Solon Springs.
Douglas County has a longstanding, 20-year-plus pesticide ordinance that prohibits the use of pesticides unless the person requesting the exemption shows that some urgency is involved. Also a form must be filled out showing that all other less harmful options have been tried and will not work.
A University of Wisconsin-Extension staff person proposed and had approved by the Forestry Committee, an ordinance pesticide exemption form. It appears the form was not filled out properly. The pesticide to be used is glyphosate, which has been declared a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization. Consequently, California puts that label on all their glyphosate products. Why the Douglas County Forestry Committee would choose a spot where large numbers of people gather to picnic, camp, swim and watch musical performances when other sites remote from human activity were available boggles the logical mind.
Presently, the buckthorn there is being controlled by goats. The herd manager wrote a letter to the County Board, county corporate counsel and the administrative department. She sent a letter to the County Board detailing her concerns and to alert the public to what is going on. She attended the County Board meeting for a discussion, but the County Board refused to have her letter read.
The corporate counsel, the County Board and the county administration have yet to respond to the herd manager's concerns.
Here is contact information for some of the officials who may be interested in answering your questions on this subject: Jane Anklam, UW-Extension, (715) 395-1515; Douglas County Forestry, (715) 378-2219; Mark Liebaert, Douglas County Board Chairman, (715) 395-1493 or (715) 398-5234; or Carolyn Pierce, corporate counsel (715) 395-1453.