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Why Round-Up Spraying in the Baylands by People Who Don't Know Who They Are Working For?

Original post made by BayLandsBiker, Crescent Park, on Nov 4, 2013

This afternoon a bit before 4 I was returning the Byxbee Park parking lot and I saw two men with backpack sprayers on walking along the hill spraying bushes.

I asked them what they were spraying and they said Round-Up and some other stuff? They did not seem to know what they were doing, and they also did not seem to know who they worked for. After talking to them a bit more I returned to the parking lot where I called the Palo Alto City number for the Baylands.

As usually no one answered. So I drove over to the other end by the Interpretive Center and found the Ranger and asked him about it. Our Palo Alto Rangers also do not seem to know who they work for, what numbers to call to get to their bosses, or even what department they work for in Palo Alto, The ranger told me he was a contractor from an outsourced company.

The two guys doing the spraying had no uniforms.

First, can anyone tell me what was going on. It seemed kind of silly to spray for weeds when there were fairly few of them and they could have been dug out. Also, putting all that poison into the environment also does not seem very green or ecological.

Isn't pretty much everything that grows out at the Baylands weeds? So why are we spraying for them? On the one side of that road volunteers are planting native plant species to bring back the habitat, and then these guys were spraying poison all over the place. They sprayers were saying that Palo Alto was might be planning to plant a lawn out there. Has anyone from Palo Alto looked at what the lawn a Shoreline Park looks like after the ducks get through eating most of it and pooping all over it? It is ugly, it stinks and whatever they do to it, it never gets much better.

Do we have someone in Palo Alto that is making estimates to get work done with licensed professionals and then not doing that and hiring guys from wherever to use chemicals and poisons they may be unqualified to use, and is the Palo Alto person doing this ripping off the city?

What is going on here, and how can we tell? Anyone have any clue?

Comments (5)

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Posted by Grrrrrrrrrrr
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2013 at 10:11 am

That Roundup stuff should be illegal: it is a defoliant that survives rainfall and poisons animals and people, gets into the water supply and the food chain.

I had a horse who became gravely ill after the barn owner, unbeknownst to most of the boarders, sprayed Roundup to kill weeds around the horse stalls. Many of the horses nibbled on the weeds before the chemicals shriveled them ( they still looked appetizing to the horses), and the barn owner had to pay a lot of big vet bills after the vet determined why so many horses were sickened at once.

Roundup is toxic as hell and already IS illegal in Connecticut....why not in California???

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Posted by Grrrrrrrrrrrr
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2013 at 10:14 am

BTW: my horse was never quite the same after the poisoning, as it damaged her nervous and digestive systems. She had to be retired from competition, as she was no longer coordinated enough to compete, nor could she maintain adequate weight.

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Posted by BayLandsBiker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 5, 2013 at 11:28 am

I got a return call from the Ranger this morning who said they are going to plant/broadcast seed out there to try to get grass to grow. That's what he told me, but he had no real knowledge of why or whether it made sense or not.

It seems to me that grass and these little bushes where they were spraying the RoundUp are two different things.

That is the bushes just cover a small around and do not spread throughout the whole field. They are natural and presumable local ... so why kill them?

If they want grasses to grow they just have to get the seeds out there and water them, I don't see why or how the bushes interfere with that - but I am not an ecological expert so maybe there is a reason ... I doubt it, but perhaps.

It's not like even when there is grass growing out there that bushes will not return or they will bother anything.

To me this just makes no sense, and is a waste of time, money, resources and puts poison out there for no reason.

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Posted by clairegardens
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Nov 16, 2013 at 10:35 pm

I have noticed the spraying too, and there was a 'ranger' man in a truck driving around afterwards.
I asked him about the spraying, and he said it was to keep the toxins from the dump from quickly seeping into the bay lands once it rains. There are also seeds in the stuff they were spraying. He wasn't totally sure about what he told me.

The bigger concern I had when talking to him was the foreign photographer (didn't speak english, but seemed to be from China) who was stalking a very large Great Blue Heron near to where I was talking to the ranger. This photographer actually 'RAN' after the heron, chasing it so much that it was disturbed from it's natural habitat and feeding, so it flew away to the other side of the water and put it's wings around itself as if to 'hide' from us humans.

Knowing that the heron is legally protected from humans disturbing it, I brought this to the attention of the ranger, and he said that it really doesn't matter. The ranger did not even know the name of the Great Blue Heron - or that there were herons in the Bay Lands. The ranger also had problems speaking english. I was really disappointed that he was actually hired, and did said nothing to the photographer who was chasing aggressively after a few big birds.

Here is information about how the Great Blue Heron is protected, in case anyone knows how to contact people who care about the Bayland wildlife:

Conservation and Research
The Great Blue Heron is protected in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) of 1918, which prohibits pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing, or collecting any migratory bird, nest, or eggs without a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The MTBA protects nesting habitat only when occupied by herons.

Resident birds, such as the Great Blue Heron, are protected from take and harassment under the California Code of Regulations (CCR Title 14, Division 1, Subdivision 2, Chapter 1 §250 and §251.1). Harassment is defined as an intentional act that disrupts an animal’s normal behavior patterns. The Great Blue Heron is designated a "Special Animal" by the California Department of Fish and Game.16 The California Department of Forestry classifies the Great Blue Heron as a “sensitive species”. The Board of Forestry assigns this classification to species that warrant special protection during timber operations.

To anyone reading this comment, please spread the news.
To BayLandsBiker, thank you for looking out & helping to look out for our beautiful baylands. I hope someone is in charge out there. I'm sure Paloaltans are paying a lot for the work being done.

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Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 18, 2013 at 7:26 pm

I think we should follow the money - back to the PA Parks and Recreation for starters, then move on to the Santa Clara County - find out who is in charge of this operation. There is no reason that a city, county, or regional state organization should be working in this manner. If budget has been assigned to this type operation than we should know about it. Put whoever authorized it in the spot light to figure out the rationalization for this effort.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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