Protesting pesticides: Group forms in Grand Lake |

Protesting pesticides: Group forms in Grand Lake

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

A group of Grand Lake residents are putting renewed efforts into protesting the use of pesticide sprays.

Founding members Lenny and Gail Brooks say the intent of a newly-established Web site and “loose-knit” group is to bring awareness to the affects pesticides have on the environment. They are especially concerned about the pesticides being used to fight mountain pine beetles.

Group members hope to influence public policy on the matter.

“Our goal is to adopt something similar to the Boulder pesticide law, which authorizes spraying by permit only,” Lenny Brooks said.

The group is called Grand County W.A.T.E.R (Water, Air, Terrain Environmental Review) and offers information to the public about pesticides at, including the language of labels on commonly used chemicals used to repel beetles.

Visitations to the site will help citizens “learn about these chemicals that are being sprayed into our air and landing in our water,” Brooks said. “Any town has the right to make laws more stringent than the EPA, not more loose.”

Brooks embraced the campaign to curb pesticides use when a few Grand Lake citizens complained of flu-like symptoms after being caught in spray drift. Brooks’ research revealed the threat pesticides have on aquatic and other beneficial insects, and, he said, no research covers the volume and magnitude of spray currently spread in high-country stands as property owners and professional applicators battle the pine beetle throughout spring months.

For several years, state foresters have been recommending that property owners only spray a few “high-value” trees, if any, and surrender the rest.

Spraying should be completed by the first of July, foresters say, since most beetles begin flying around mid-July. Spraying after beetles have flown is not only a waste of money, but a needless environmental risk.

According to the state forest office, focus on the pine-beetle problem has shifted to mitigating for fire rather than saving trees.

“Keep defensible space around your house,” forest officials say.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail