The Petition Drive has begun!

We, the members of Jefferson County Ecological Roadsides, and the undersigned, hereby petition the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners to adopt the following ordinance: “No herbicides, pesticides or other chemicals shall be used in road rights of way in Jefferson County, Washington.”

Ellen at the PT Food Co-op gathering names on the petition

UPDATE: Over 200 signatures in 2 days were gathered.  Thank you Jefferson County residents for your support!

I sat up a table at the Port Townsend Food Co-op and interacted with many residents. It was very good for me to see how easy it was to get people to sign our petition.  I also listened long and hard to people, including those who support using herbicides on roadsides (2 people).

I was very glad to hear that most people have heard of

  • Bee Colony Collapse
  • The relationship between purchasing these toxins and supporting an industry (Monsanto, Bayer, Dow etc.) that is destroying the earth, suing farmers, creating toxic foods with GMO’s, trying to steal the seed and patent it and generally acting in unethical, immoral ways toward humanity and the Earth.
  • The relationship between pesticides (including herbicides) and breast cancer, prostate cancer, and other cancers in humans.
  • The fact that what we call “weeds” may actually be pioneer plants taking over disturbed (as in poisoned) land and trying to clean it up via bio-remediation.
  • The plants we call weeds may be providing habitat for wild bees, birds, small animals etc.
  • The plants may be cleaning up human messes like pollution in the air, water and earth.
  • We must stop making war on the nature and start trying to understand pioneer plants that are acting in invasive ways

One of my favorite quotes from a petition signer was:

“We have to teach humans to stop messing in their own nest”.

She went on to say that she cannot understand why anyone would support using toxic chemicals to do anything in their environment.  I could not tell her why there are still people who believe that any amount of toxins was OK to use anywhere.

I also heard a great many good ideas for what to do instead of use toxic chemicals to control plants:

  • Create a fund to support local jobs placing a bounty for digging up Scotch Broom.  Pay people by the pound and make sure the plant includes the root.
  • Use Permaculture techniques to replace invasive plants with native plants.
  • Replant the roadsides of Jefferson County with native plants and then leave them alone.  Plant natives that will grow to the appropriate height so as not to obscure traffic.
  • Replant the native rhododendrons along the roads.  Plant native lupines and other native wildflowers.
  •  Plant Salal and other beautiful plants and don’t allow county brush cutters to decimate them.
  • Organize groups of citizens to adopt stretches of the county roads and then assist them to replant the areas into native plants.
  • Create a fund that is private and outside county government to provide native plant seeds and wildflowers to planting along roadsides.

I was able to collect almost 200 signatures in six hours.  Thank you Port Townsend Food Co-op for allowing me to set up a table and gather signatures.

For the next few weeks our group members will be at the Port Townsend Farmers market on Saturdays, the Chimacum’s Farmer Market on Sundays and the Port Townsend Food Co-op each Saturday.  If you have not signed the paper petition, please do so.  We will be delivering the petitions to the Jefferson County commissioners by the end of June and will be giving them an update on numbers of signature  on June 11th when we meet with them.

Thanks so much for caring so deeply about the Earth and ALL its creatures!

Sincerely, Ellen

2 responses to “The Petition Drive has begun!

  1. Only Roadsides? all of our watersheds are at risk too. And it should be logical to protect our water, so maybe by the time the commissioners act on this they will reach that conclusion.

  2. Do you think the tribes will be interested? I know that they are very active in the efforts to protect salmon habitat and all of our waterways? Know anyone in particular who we should take with? Thank you for your concern and comment.

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