Saturday, May 05, 2007

MMWD Weed Tour

This afternoon, I participated in a 3-hour invasive species "weed tour" of the Marin Municipal Water District's lands around Lake Lagunitas. We learned about the different ways that MMWD has tried over the years to control the growth and spread of non-native species, specifically scotch and french broom. Mike Swezy of MMWD took the small group of 6 of us - including individuals from Corte Madera, Kentfield, San Rafael and Fairfax - on an informative show and tell tour of the watershed with respect to weed-control methods used, some more successful than others.

The following information was provided by MMWD: The District is preparing to update the Vegetation Management Program for the Mt. Tamalpais, Nicasio, and Soulajule Watersheds and is undertaking a study of all available weed control options, including the limited use of specific low-toxicity herbicides. This is a controversial issue, with implications that extend far beyond the limits of the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed or the MMWD service area.

The decision to include the potential use of herbicides in the study has already sparked considerable controversy. MMWD will soon publicize a schedule of public meetings and workshops where Marin residents can contribute to the direction of the study, voice their concerns, and get their questions answered by independent experts in weed management, wild fire risk reduction, environmental toxicology, water quality, organics, integrated pest management and toxics reduction.

MMWD also hosting a series of Mt. Tamalpais Watershed weed tours. The goal is to give community and environmental leaders an opportunity to see first hand the challenge posed by weeds and to learn how MMWD has strived to meet it. The 3 hour tour will depart the from the Sky Oaks Watershed Headquarters, just outside of Fairfax, and will visit a number of experimental weed control sites as well as part of the fuel break system designed to protect homes along the urban wildland interface. Each tour is limited to 9 attendees.

If you are interested in reserving space on one of the tours , please contact Janet Klein at 945-1192 or .