BLM proposes widespread use of herbicide in nearby mountains
Chemicals all around our mountains?
There will be a public meeting Wednesday, July 22nd at 6 p.m. at the Socorro Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management to discuss the BLM's plans to use the herbicide tebuthiron on over 32,000 acres of BLM land in and around areas of the East Magdalena Mountains, Polvadera Mountain, and Sierra Ladrones.
Typically, this herbicide is used in attempts to control non-native plant life that has "invaded" after over-grazing and other land mismanagement has occurred. The end-goal is usually to return the land to effective pasture land for cattle growers. Thus, the US government will spend our tax dollars to subsidize the application of a potentially dangerous herbicide over thousands of acres of government land, so that the cattle growers who over-grazed it, making the invasion of non-native plants possible in the first place, can have the land returned to a state that it was in before they over-grazed. That sounds a bit like circular logic! Sometimes the subsidies of the cattle industry are downright laughable; aren't these the same guys who always mumble about "pulling yourselves up by the bootstraps?"
Our tax dollars at work
The US government - i.e. we the taxpayers - should not be subsidizing the cattle industry and a handful of wealthy ranchers to abuse public lands, and then bail them out when they damage the range land. Moreover, if there were a case to be made to limit some of the water-hungry invasive trees and shrubs, there are much safer and less toxic means to do so. We could employ many laborers to do this work, thereby providing a boost to the local economy, rather than enriching a handful of big agro-chemical companies which produce these chemicals with unknown long-term consequences to the environment and human health.
Make your voice heard
If you're interested in this topic, or just want to hear the government spin (or should we say "propaganda") on why this should be done, the public hearing will be Wednesday, July 22nd at 6 p.m. at the BLM's Socorro Field Office at the south end of town on California Street. Here's a link to more information.