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Accomplishments and History

Kids laying in Leaves

For more than 30 years, NCAP has been on the ground protecting the health of people and the environment.

The First Decade

The Second Decade

The Third Decade

The Fourth Decade


The Fourth Decade – 2008-Present

• NCAP documents more than 19 cities in the Northwest that have implemented a pesticide-free park program making almost 100 parks safe for kids and families to play.

• NCAP organizes a meeting for 26 organic farmers with the USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment.

• NCAP conducts demonstration field trials of a biological control for early blight with 10 potato farmers.

• NCAP helps thousands of home and garden enthusiasts with weed and pest problems with useful factsheets on our website and by phone.

• NCAP launches the NCAP Action News, a monthly email sent to more than 16,000 people with the latest pesticide news and actions.

• The Sustainable Parks Information Network (SPIN) is born and city park managers and professional landscapers share and learn effective integrated pest management strategies with each other.

• The annual event, "An Evening With NCAP" is launched and hundreds of supporters spent beautiful fall evenings celebrating NCAP at King Estate Winery.

• NCAP was named one of the top 100 green companies to work for in Oregon.

• NCAP's founding director stepped down and we had a smooth and successful transition to new leadership.


The Third Decade – 1997-2007 

• NCAP, with 180 cooperating organizations, submitted a rulemaking petition to EPA asking for identification of interts on pesticide labels.  Seven state attorneys general filed a similar petition.

• An NCAP report highlighted hazards of insecticides used in airplanes.

    • The Oregon Pesticide Education Network (OPEN) that included NCAP lobbied the Oregon Legislature to pass a comprehensive pesticide tracking law.

    • NCAP launched a potato demonstration project with the Shoshone Bannock Tribes in Idaho. The project used mustard plants as a “green manure” to reduce fumigant use by potato growers.

    • NCAP published Unthinkable Risk, an in-depth report about children, schools, and pesticides. Also, NCAP helped Portland (Oregon) parents secure an integrated pest management policy for their school district and held training workshops.

    • Farmer networks in Idaho sponsored by NCAP helped growers adopt more sustainable practices.

    • The green manure practice was eligible for federal cost-share funds to subsidize the cost of mustard seeds. More than 40,000 acres of green manures grew in Idaho annually.

    • NCAP and our allies launched a Clean Water for Salmon campaign. We filed an Endangered Species Act lawsuit to force EPA to consider salmon protection when the agency registers pesticides.

    • NCAP served on an EPA inert ingredient advisory group. The group developed three alternative proposals for EPA, two of which identified inert ingredients on product labels.

    • A federal judge ordered EPA to assess whether 54 pesticides pose hazards to salmon and steelhead in our Endangered Species Act lawsuit.

    • Potato Growers of Idaho, University of Idaho researchers and NCAP partnered to increase production of organic potatoes in Idaho. With growers, they made a strategic plan identifying pest management research needs for organic production.

    • NCAP visited home and garden shows in four states, signing up more than 13,500 people for the Healthier Homes and Gardens program. Each month, participants were sent tips on how to manage common pests without toxic chemicals.

    • The U.S. Supreme Court upheld legal decisions requiring no-spray buffers along thousands of miles of salmon-supporting waterways in three Pacific states and the posting of warning signs in more than 500 communities that alert urban pesticide users to the risks that pesticides pose to salmon.

• Lane County updated its roadside vegetation spray program as a “last resort” policy.

    • Utne Reader nominated the Journal of Pesticide Reform for an independent press award for best science and technology coverage.

    • NCAP and 21 partners filed a petition with the EPA to require disclosure on pesticide product labels of the identity of 400 inert ingredients that are regulated as hazardous under other health and environmental laws. Led by New York, 15 state attorneys general filed a parallel petition for rulemaking.

    • Environmental Health Perspectives, the peer-reviewed journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, published Unidentified Inert Ingredients in Pesticides: Implications for Human and Environmental Health that was co-authored by NCAP.

    • Portland and Eugene (Oregon) and Helena and Bozeman (Montana) established pesticide-free parks programs, thanks to NCAP’s work. More than 250 volunteers a year replaced herbicides with people power in the Portland parks.

    • NCAP discontinued the Journal of Pesticide Reform and published its first issue of The Naysprayer.

    • NCAP helped thousands of people who requested information by phone, mail and email about pesticide hazards and safe, effective alternatives.

    • A federal judge ruled in NCAP’s favor, rejecting regulations that eliminate the involvement of wildlife specialists in decisions to protect endangered species from hazardous pesticides.


The Second Decade -  1987 to 1997 

    • NCAP served on an Oregon Department of Agriculture committee to recommend eradication techniques for the gypsy moth. NCAP successfully stopped a proposal for chemical insecticide use. Bt, a bacterium that kills caterpillars, was used instead.

    • In response to the 1984 injunction, the Forest Service announced that the agency would write an entirely new environmental impact statement with extensive involvement from the public.

    • NCAP and its member groups spearheaded creation of an integrated roadside vegetation management policy for Lane County, Oregon; development of a progressive vegetation management policy for Washington’s state forests; use of carp to remove unwanted vegetation in Devil’s Lake, Oregon; and a challenge to the Bureau of Land Management’s noxious weed program.

    • With support from NCAP, the Oregon Legislature passed a law requiring state agencies to use integrated pest management.

    • NCAP produced Inert Alert, a video about the hazards of the so-called inert ingredients in pesticides. Also, using the Freedom of Information Act, NCAP challenged EPA’s authority to keep secret the identities of inerts.

    • Portland residents opposed the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Asian gypsy moth eradication program, with help from NCAP.

• NCAP publicized sustainable techniques being used by Washington raspberry growers.

    • NCAP developed in-depth materials supporting school pesticide use reduction; used the Endangered Species Act to protect wildlife in the Klamath Basin from pesticides; and sued EPA to force the agency to identify inert ingredients in six herbicides.

    • Two hundred grounds and building maintenance managers attended NCAP’s school pesticide use reduction workshop – twice as many as expected.

    • NCAP surveyed pesticide analytical laboratories in the Northwest and monitored their accuracy.

• NCAP launched a sustainable potato farming program in Idaho.

    • NCAP won a lawsuit requiring EPA to release information about the identity of inerts in pesticide products. For the first time, this information was publicly available.

    • NCAP worked with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, extension agents, and growers to develop biologically based apple maggot management practices.

    • NCAP kicked off a campaign to establish a pesticide tracking program in Oregon by releasing a report about hormone-disrupting pesticides in Oregon rivers and streams.


The First Decade – 1977 to 1987 

In 1977, representatives of 17 Northwest groups gathered near Portland to form a coalition to promote alternatives to pesticides. NCAP was founded! The first victory occurred when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invited NCAP member groups to speak at a national conference on the controversial forestry herbicide 2,4,5-T.

After the testimony, EPA suspended forestry uses of 2,4,5-T. NCAP intervened in EPA hearings to permanently cancel 2,4,5-T. EPA moved the hearings to Eugene so that representatives of NCAP member groups who had been harmed by spraying could testify and be cross-examined by industry lawyers.

NCAP grew to five regional councils and 50 member groups!

    • Carbaryl was sprayed in Salem, Oregon for gypsy moth control, alarming many local residents.

• Eugene, Oregon’s school board banned most herbicide use on its school grounds.

• EPA canceled all uses of 2,4,5-T and Silvex, a closely related herbicide.

• NCAP grew to 70 member groups.

    • NCAP member groups won two more legal cases about federal agency spray programs. NCAP and two collaborating organizations then filed suit against the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service to expand the scope of the three legal victories.

    • A federal judge ruled in favor of NCAP in our lawsuit. When the agencies failed to implement his order, the judge issued an injunction stopping their herbicide use.

• NCAP News became the Journal of Pesticide Reform.

    • NCAP became a membership organization rather than a coalition of member groups. Soon we had more than 1,000 members.

    • After intensive lobbying efforts by NCAP, a groundwater protection law passed in Oregon.

    • The Forest Service adopted a new vegetation management policy for Oregon and Washington. Responding to pressure from NCAP, the policy emphasized prevention of vegetation problems, rather than simply killing weeds, and set a goal of reducing reliance on herbicide use.

    • NCAP developed a regional program to assist people who had been exposed to pesticides and helped Tigard, Oregon, residents fight a Japanese beetle eradication program.

• NCAP worked for strong implementation of Oregon’s groundwater law.