Community Meeting on New IPM Policy
As a county-wide pesticide reform campaign unfolds, PAN BC has been documenting the process for activists elsewhere who want to address pesticide use in their own communities. Here’s an update from the recent community meeting about the city of Ketchum’s new draft IPM policy.
By Kathryn Goldman
Last week, 25 representatives from local government, state agencies, environmental groups and local landscaping companies attended Pesticide Action Network BC’s community meeting on Integrated Pest Management. As host and facilitator, my goals were two-fold: to improve our draft IPM policy and to provide the opportunity for members of the community who would be directly affected by it to read it and make comment. We gained good insight on their concerns and we included a variety of perspectives in this process.
Staff from the Idaho Department of Agriculture pointed the campaign to areas where state law would need to guide the local policy. We had people skilled in IPM practices and state law providing feedback, which will help us craft something that will move quickly once it comes before local government.
City staff, local lawn care companies and tree care companies weighed in during the meeting as well. In fact, some of the best participation we had was from local arborists. They recognize that trees are a big investment, both for the city and for private landowners, so it was good to hear their ideas.
One of the main points discussed was the issue of increased site inspections necessary to achieve IPM goals; IPM relies on regular monitoring and therefore there may be a front end increase in site visits for staff or contractors managing parks and schools. This raises the issue of short term costs versus long term costs and benefits, so we’ll be discussing this more and working to educate on the long-term economics of IPM which have shown to be preferable to those of conventional pest management.
All in all, we had a great turn-out. It was deeply encouraging to have such engaged participation with substantive feedback that will help us get this policy in place.
Next steps include incorporating all the feedback in to a final IPM draft to bring to before city councils this spring! Learn more about this campaign at:
www. http://pesticideactionnetwork.net or find us on facebook.