Environment featured

News brief: Opponents of aerial spraying occupy more parcels in Annapolis County

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KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – According to a post on the Annapolis County Extinction Rebellion Facebook page people opposed to aerial spraying of glyphosate are occupying three parcels of forested land on South Mountain in Annapolis County. 

Earlier this month a similar occupation of a 46 hectares parcel in nearby Burlington caused the owner, Five Islands Forest Developments, to reverse its plans to spray.

“Inspired by rebels in Burlington on the North Mountain, it is our intent to protect these parts of the South Mountain from being sprayed with a known carcinogen. Totalling 930 acres, the parcels abut Eel Weir Lake and Paradise Lake, a Municipal drinking watershed.” the post states.

Municipality of Annapolis County Warden Timothy Habinski has written letters to the minister of Natural Resources Iain Rankin and Environment Minister Gordon Wilson in support of the demands to stop spraying within the three parcels.

“Glyphosate has never been demonstrated to be safe, and the 1970 Federal study which the Federal Government has used to defend the use of this chemical has not been made available to the public or for scientific peer review.  There is, however, a large body of scientific evidence which shows a correlation between glyphosate exposure and elevated levels of cancer and other health risks including kidney damage,” Habinski writes. 

“Spraying of glyphosates on these properties adjacent to lakes which ultimately flow to the valley floor and into the drinking water for hundreds of homes represents a very real risk to the health of our residents. The damage to biodiversity in the tracts of forest sprayed is no less concerning,” writes Habinski.

See also: Northern Pulp’s proposed glyphosate spraying, not just bad for your health

Opponents of spraying have long argued that the spraying program is not really necessary. All it does is save a handful of forestry companies a bit of money by making clearcutting more efficient. Clearcutting doesn’t generate the kinds and numbers of jobs sustainable forestry management practices provide. Promoting softwood species over hardwood also reduces the resilience of our forests, not a trivial issue in the face of global warming.

“We are spurred to action not only by this fall’s approvals for glyphosate spraying on 3700 acres of private land but also by the fact that the Department of Lands and Forestry is considering a plan to spray and clearcut 800,000 acres of Crown Land. This is madness. We are facing climate and ecological breakdown. We demand an end to the spraying and clearcutting of our province. Let’s start here, right now. Stop this spray,” the Xtinction Rebellion Facebook post states.

See also: Op-ed: Glyphosate spraying not worth the risks

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