MVFN has written a letter of concern to Lanark County, expressing our opposition to their plans to carry out herbicide spraying in 2017 of approximately 350 km of roadsides along County (and Township) roads, in an effort to control the presence and spread of wild parsnip, as well as other noxious weeds. This letter follows from a similar letter sent in 2016. A map and table showing the roads where spraying is planned or has been completed can be found on the Lanark County web site at http://www.lanarkcounty.ca/Page1875.aspx.
MVFN is concerned that spraying, particularly boom spraying, of a general herbicide (Clearview) to control wild parsnip will detrimentally affect many other species of flowering plants that provide food for insects and birds. We also feel that, even with careful application, there is a risk of the herbicide entering streams and wetlands where it is known to be highly toxic to aquatic organisms. An active ingredient of Clearview (aminopyralid potassium) cannot be considered readily biodegradable and so may persist in the environment and transport into groundwater.
MVFN is of the opinion that the County should focus its efforts on wild parsnip control through non-chemical means, particularly mowing at appropriate times of the year, and carry out a more comprehensive public information campaign that will lead to risk reduction through education. No matter the scale of our efforts, wild parsnip, like poison ivy, will always be with us and we should deal with its presence through education and mechanical control, not through the widespread application of herbicides.
To learn more about wild parsnip, and how property owners can control it, please go to this Mississippi Mills link:
Here is the MVFN Letter of Concern that was sent to all Lanark County Councillors: MVFN-letter-to-LC-spraying-2017.pdf
Photos below are of wild parsnip plants at various stages of development. Learn to recognize the plants and avoid them.