Why do we Spray?

“Probably just for liability. The cost from an accounting view of all these undeclared free growing stands can be quite high. The faster they get it off the books the faster they get rid of the liability .  By spraying they are essentially guaranteed that they’ll meet the early free to grow date and hence get rid of their liability. You could call it administrative brushing and that’s exactly what it is. By spraying nobody is going to  argue that it’s not free to grow and etc and etc.”- Dr. Chris Hawkins, former forest science professor at UNBC and current director of research at Yukon College, personal conversation, 2011.

“It’s partly a mindset on the part of the people who practice it.  They simply don’t know any better and/or haven’t been exposed to other practices.  Part of it too is it’s a culture or certain approach to forest management that people get engrained in.”-  Jamie Simpson, Forestry Program Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre, Nova Scotia, personal conversation, 2011.

“It’s one of those things where once a treatment becomes fairly engrained its almost like ‘you just do it.’ You needed quite a number of aspen stems before it made it any difference to pine and spruce growth.”- Craig Delong, former Ministry of Forests Research Ecologist, personal conversation, 2011.

“The idea of using herbicides from an ecological point of view doesn’t make a lick of sense.  It’s the command and control approach to management.  Its kind of like ‘lets take a shot at this and see what happens.’ It doesn’t follow the precautionary principle.  It doesn’t take into account the state of nature we’re currently in.  We have crossed a global threshold to the point where we have entered a sixth mass extinction period and there’s no sign it’s going to let up.”- Mark Thompson- Amphibian Specialist, UNBC, personal conversation, 2011.

“I don’t think as a society we have made a really well-reasoned choice.  The government has decided we want to grow conifers and that is why we use pesticides.  And as a society do we really understand what we are doing?   There are consequences and side-effects that we don’t know.” Dr. Suzanne Simard, UBC Forest Science Professor, personal conversation, 2011.