Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Schweitzer on noxious weeds

Why am I writing a post about noxious weeds? Because Schweitzer is fighting them the right way:

Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Whitefish farmer and soil scientist, kicked off the Zero Spread campaign by yanking several spotted knapweed plants from wet soil on state land here.

That's part of the message in the campaign: See a weed, pull it.

"When you're out, when your fishing, when your hunting, when your camping and you see knapweed along the trail, pull it out, pull it out," Schweitzer said.
For anyone who has read Rachel Carson's Silent Spring -- as I am currently doing, belatedly -- you know this is a BIG deal. This may be the first time in history that chemical herbicides are NOT being used to fight a major weed infestation. Herbicides kill far more than weeds -- they kill crops, wildflowers, fish, birds, livestock, and even people. They destroy the land on which they are sprayed and in a swath far wider than the area where they were actually placed.

As the article states, Schweitzer has a Master's degree in soil science. He knows all this stuff. So he's pulling weeds out instead of spraying them. Not flashy, true, but any real environmentalist knows that what Schweitzer's doing is far more important and environmentally conscious than chaining oneself to a tree.


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