Green Diamond’s clearcut management practices lead to the use of herbicides to control competing vegetation after re-planting. Although herbicides are used regularly on private industrial forest lands, Cal Fire has no authority to regulate their use. Green Diamond and other companies must report their pesticide use to the Department of pesticide regulation, but no other regulatory mechanism exists to monitor the use of herbicides.
Based on the DPR records, Green Diamond has applied herbicides over approximately 1,718 acres of its property between January 27th to May 5th of 2010. The amount of chemicals used adds up to a whopping 25,958.25 gallons. This includes the use of 3,128 gallons of Imazapyr and 1,377 gallons of Atrazine.
Green Diamond’s herbicide use thus far in 2010, has been spread all over their ownership. Significant amounts of herbicides have been used in Pecwan Creek, just down river from where the Trinity flows into the Klamath River. Little River, Mad River, and Maple Creek watersheds have also been heavily impacted by the use of herbicides. These records only represent a fraction of what the timber company has applied to their lands.
Green Diamond’s herbicide use results from intensive clearcut logging of old timber harvest plans. However, Green Diamond has also used herbicides in selection and commercially thinned areas as well. Green Diamond’s approach of plantation forestry necessitates that herbicides be used to aggressively grow only the two tree species desired and eliminate competition.
While many of the herbicides used by Green Diamond are not considered restricted chemicals, they are nevertheless a threat to water, wildlife, and people. Green Diamond claims that no long-term effects from its use of herbicides have or will occur. However, Green Diamond’s own research suggests that many of the herbicides being used are persistent, mobile, and potentially dangerous.
Green Diamond’s mandate under the Forest Practice Rules Maximum Sustained Production provisions dictates clearcutting, broadcast burning, and the use of herbicides. While Green Diamond claims that it intends to reduce the use of herbicides on its property, it is hard to fathom how this will be possible, given the intensive even-aged management regime employed by Green Diamond and required by the Forest Practice Rules.
Here are two examples of peer-reviewed scientific studies concerning the hazards of atrazine to the environment:
Changes in testicular morphology and steriodogenesis in adult rats exposed to atrazine by Bolivar Victor-Costa et. al