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Pesticide use will keep family from visiting area

To the Editor:

When I read the letter on Jan. 8 titled, ‘Pesticides are very safe when applied properly,’ I was madder than the snake who married the garden hose.

I’m visiting Grand Lake this winter from Wisconsin and have come to Grand Lake every summer for 30 years. Last summer in a Grand County campground, my family was told, after we noticed a slightly different odor and we all got rashes and headaches, that 24 hours earlier the campground had been sprayed with a pesticide ingredient called carbaryl.

I have written to the EPA about these so-called “safe” pesticides. EPA responds that at no time do they claim any pesticide is “safe,” instead opting for terms like “less toxic” or “non-toxic.” This means they are not acutely lethal. The EPA makes very few claims about long-term effects.

This catastrophe is bigger than all of us and our spray-guns. You can’t spray poison on trees and solve the problem of eight miles of trees disappearing each year.

Some say we have no choice but to use the magic poison to make all the beetles go away and save the pine trees. It seems to me at this point that would be like trying to control an earthquake. Good luck.

I love the lodgepole pines of the Rockies. But at some point we must come out of our denial and realize that there is no magic poison-filled bullet to save them.

With 20/20 hindsight, we know that thinning should have started in 1997, but it didn’t. Now we can still thin out the dead trees, to whatever degree is possible. That is a good, non-toxic partial solution.

In the meantime, if Grand County’s attitude is that poison is the only option, my family and I will not be returning to Grand Lake for the first time in 30 years. We’re sick of the pesticides.

Purveyors of the carbaryl pesticide may want their new slogan to read: “Carbaryl ” It’s what’s for dinner.”

Steve Stone

Lodi, Wisc.


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