By now you likely are aware of the aerial spraying of herbicide that took place in and around the town of Lyons on November 1st. We are personally troubled as our elderly Mother, who is immune compromised, lives in Lyons close to the spraying area, and our 11-year-old son goes to the Middle/Senior High School (we kept him out of school yesterday to avoid the toxins).
I can’t begin to tell you how upset our community is. Here is one quote “it felt like a war zone” as the helicopter surrounded our town raining poison on children walking to school and people out for a hike or walking their dog before work. The helicopter and open space area is just West and Southwest of the Town of Lyons and the Middle/Senior school. The winds were coming from the South that morning which carried the spray in their direction. I met another mother trick or treating on Halloween, and she said she had been so upset the day before; she cried all day. She said “they poisoned us, and the kids watched”. The county does not get it. So thank you for telling our story.
BOULDER COUNTY ACTIONS
On November 1, 2022 at 7:40 am Boulder County Parks & Open Space (BCPOS) doused Rejuvra/ Indaziflam (a close cousin to Glyphosate) with a helicopter on public Open Space next to our homes and St. Vrain Creek against the wishes of our town’s people.
One neighbor had heard about this spraying and told others in town; when people were up in arms and inundating the county with calls so much that Joe Swanson, the Weed Management Director for Boulder County, held an emergency meeting at Lyons Firehouse just one week before spraying. Nearly 50 people showed up with one day’s notice to this meeting and told BCPOS they did not want chemicals sprayed in our area, and that the Town of Lyons has adopted a Weed Management Plan without the use of chemicals on our public spaces. They told BCPOS there are many other ways to handle the cheatgrass they want to eradicate including targeted goat grazing, timely mowing and controlled burns that have been used successfully all over the country.
BCPOS staff scoffed at all of these alternative methods and said they were moving forward anyway; but upon the request by one neighbor to the open space did make the concession that they would exclude from spraying a few acres near homes and our creek that provides drinking water to our town and a drainage.
Given the short notice, some people had not heard the news and were walking in the area when the aerial spraying occurred and were directly showered with this chemical. The townspeople, including Lyons Climate Action, begged the county not to do it, even offering to do the work and take on the cost ourselves, and have gathered 1354 signatures to date opposing this method. We got sprayed and the town is devastated about it, as we know it will take years to recover and that there will be consequences for the wildlife, public health and plants nearby.
DEVELOP COOPERATIVE PLAN
We are gathering quite a large coalition of community members that are against this practice of chemical weed mitigation and we will win this fight. What we want mainly from the BOCO right now is a map and a schedule of sprays events around the county (especially aerial sprays) so we can warn them properly of what is happening which we did not get here in Lyons. We would like to collaborate with BCPOS now to steward that land in a natural way to eradicate the weeds and prevent fire spread and keep the native plant diversity.
We are actually working hard to get a full plan for them and already have a plan to work from that the Town of Lyons had been using which some of our coalition created. We are making one that is specifically for cheatgrass and for this particular BC open space in Lyons which will obviously use natural means without any chemicals and will base it in expert advice and scientific studies to make this comprehensive plan that we will present to both Boulder County Commissioners and BC Parks & Open Space in the near future.
Our coalition will meet at the next Lyons Climate Action meeting this Friday, November 11 at noon at the Lyons library to update the community and invite them to join with tasks that can move this project forward. All are welcome.
…………………..Sheldon and Kathleen Sands, Lyons
https://www.lyonsclimateactiongroup.com/home = a Lyons community group focused on the environment. We inspire, learn and act together to fight climate change for ourselves and future generations–especially in our own community.
Sands further provided:
For information on the diseases caused by pesticide, see research by local resident and Health Expert Richard Lear: Rejuvra is close-cousin to Round Up (glyphosate) – is one of a whole class of herbicides that triggers peroxynitrite in the body. Peroxynitrite has been associated with the 36 fastest growing diseases in the US. You can read my paper on Research Gate, which has been read by nearly 20,000 scientists, here: “The Root Cause in the Dramatic Rise of Chronic Disease.”
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this Opinion Column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any staff member, contributing writer, or the Lyons Recorder. The article is presented for the readers’ information and entertainment purposes.