By now you've probably read about the 18 Representatives who wrote to the White House arguing against new buffer zones that would protect endangered salmon from pesticides. While it certainly isn't uncommon to see elected officials siding with special interests over environmental protection, it still disappoints us each and every time. Especially in a case like this where the science behind the new rules is so abundantly clear: pesticides are harming these fish. This issue of the NCAP Action News brings you our response to the groundless claims criticizing these new protections. But that's not all...
You'll want to mark your calendars. Things are coming up that you don't want to miss: the deadline for EQIP project grants in March, visiting author events in April, and the last day to register to win ski lift tickets through NCAP's online giving raffle one week from today! 2011's Public Interest Environmental Law Conference is also right around the corner, and this year promises to be one of the best.
Remember to check in with us through our blog at www.pesticide.org/the-buzz for latest goings on, including our coverage of a new grassroots campaign for pesticide-free parks that's gaining momentum in Idaho.
Until next time,
Kim Leval, Executive Director
Salmon Under Attack
House Natural Resources Chair, Rep. Doc Hastings and 17 other House members have taken a stance against new buffer zones that would protect endangered salmon from pesticides. In a letter they sent to the White House Council on Environmental Quality in late January, the group argued that new restrictions on pesticide use "...fail(s) to include the best scientific and commercial data..." They also claimed that the process was concluded without adequate public comment.
Steelhead Trout in the Columbia River, Oregon
NCAP would like to point out that not only are the new buffers based on actual data showing that
organophosphate and carbamate pesticides have lethal and sublethal impacts on salmon and steelhead, but that they also result from a stakeholder process that has been more than generous with regard to input from chemical and agribusiness interests.
As Steve Meshuda from Earthjustice put it, "These complaints aren’t really about process – they’re about the fact that NMFS followed the best science and that the industry didn’t get its way. There has been public notice and comment on drafts of each of these biological opinions. Not only did the pesticide industry take full advantage of that opportunity to present its views, there were extensive meetings between NOAA, EPA, and the pesticide industry during the consultations. ”
Get the Full Story
Read The Letter from House Natural Resources Committee
Idaho Activists Address Local Government
Since their initial push in January, Pesticide Action Network of Blaine County (PAN BC) has brought their call for safer parks and schools to two additional cities, as well as the Blaine county school district. They’ve also created a draft integrated pest management (IPM) policy for the city of Ketchum, and all while conducting a major public outreach effort involving local landscaping companies. Their goal: to eliminate pesticide uses in public areas by implementing ecological alternatives.
Kathryn Goldman, PAN BC
Next on the agenda, PAN BC will facilitate a community meeting on February 24 with at least 20 representatives from local landscaping companies, local governments, and others to improve the draft policy for it’s first hearing at the city, as well as future use at a county level.
Important Deadline: March 4, EQIP Organic Initiative
Organic farmers – take notice – applications for the US Department of Agriculture’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) – Organic Initiative are due next month.
Mike Heath, M&M Heath Farms
The program also supports farmers transitioning to organic!
USDA has allocated $50 million to this program, which provides financial and technical assistance to growers to implement conservation practices like cover cropping, pest management, crop rotation, stream buffers, hedgerow planting, and various other practices.
Last year, only half of the funds were used nationwide. Contact your local field office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to apply. Check here for the application form.
Be sure to check with your local office again this year, even though you may have checked out the program in the past and determined your farm did not fit.
NCAP and our partner organizations in the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition have been working to improve implementation of the program, practices offered, and payment rates. For instance, Idaho NRCS will now offer the high tunnel pilot project and support composting facilities, mulches (organic, vegetative, fabric), and other practices.
You can find more information at ATTRA, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, and the Organic Farming Research Foundation. Or contact NCAP’s sustainable agriculture associate Jennifer Miller.
Welcome, Benjamin Ross:
Visiting Author to Speak on Chemical Pollution
Environmental scientist and writer, Benjamin Ross, is coming to Oregon to discuss his new book, The Polluters, co-authored with Steven Amter.
The Polluters sets out to illuminate the close relationship between chemical industry, pollution and government as it took shape over the 20th century. Building on the idea of regulatory capture, the book presents a detailed look at the penetrating influence that the chemical industry has had upon those who would seek to regulate it. It also unveils the roots of the American movement to protect the environment and public health. Often traced to the 1960s and 1970s, Ross shows that the movement actually extends as far back as 1901 and the Teddy Roosevelt administration.
In the words of Lois Gibbs, The Polluters is, "...a must for any activist who wants to understand the strategies these polluters used to continue business as usual."
Join NCAP and Ben Ross for discussion, Q&A and book signing:
Grass Roots Books & Music, Corvallis – April 10, 3 pm
Powell’s Books (Hawthorne), Portland – April 11, 7 pm
Cosmic Pizza, Eugene – April 12, 7 pm
Benjamin Ross is President of the Washington consulting firm, Disposal Safety, Inc. He is both an environmental scientist and commentator on current affairs, and has served on committees of the National Academy of Sciences and the USEPA Science Advisory Board.
Alternatives in Action
NCAP will begin work with the Housing Authority of Portland (HAP) next month to address issues including bed bug infestation while also improving practices by eliminating uses of pesticides in affordable housing. Over the course of 2011, this will form a large part of our work to promote IPM in urban areas.
We'll be creating educational videos with our new partners at HAP for the Sustainable Parks Information Network (SPIN), so look for new resources to become available in March.
Remember, you don't have to be a SPIN member to access the resources, so stop by the site to check out our blogs, videos and other materials.
Visit the SPIN video library
If you work in a park, school, housing complex, or any urban area where pesticides are commonly used, consider joining us on SPIN to connect with peers from your field and learn innovative strategies to eliminate pesticide uses.
Sign up for SPIN
Help NCAP win $5,000
NCAP needs your help! We have an opportunity to win a $5,000 prize through the Winter 2011 GuideStar-KIMBIA Nonprofit Giveaway. This generous gift would enable us to make significant progress toward this years goals for pesticide reform!
All you have to do is write a quick review about us on Guidestar. Your review will appear in our profile on both GuideStar and GreatNonprofits, GuideStar’s partner that makes it possible to write and post reviews. There is no charge for writing a review, but you are limited to posting only one for each organization.
Review NCAP on Guidestar
The giveaway begins on February 1, 2011, and ends at 11:59 pm EDT, February 28, 2011. GuideStar USA, Inc., is a leading source for nonprofit information. KIMBIA works to empower nonprofits and other organizations to increase giving.
Click here for official rules
NCAP is a proud participant in the 2011 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference.
Dr. Vandana Shiva
Sunday, March 6, 12:30 pm
The conference will be held from Thursday, March 3 through Sunday, March 6
at the University of Oregon School of Law.
See us on Saturday's panel:
Pesticide Pollution is a Danger for Life
(Organizer: Sviltlana Kravchenko)
Saturday, March 5
9:00 am - 10:15 am
Aimee Code, Environmental Health Associate, NCAP
Olena Kravchenko, Executive Director, Environment People Law
Kim Leval, Executive Director, NCAP
Other panels related to pesticides:
Environmentalism Gone Awry: The war on invasive species
(Organizer: Fritzi Cohen)
Saturday, March 5
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
Keynote Address: Humberto Rios Labrada - Sustainable Agriculture in Cuba
Impacts of Genetically Engineered Organisms: First Supreme Court Case and Other Litigation Updates
Thursday, March 3
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
(Organizer: George Kimbrell)
Saturday, March 5
9:00 am - 10:15 am
Dioxin from Phone Poles: Poison in Your Back Yard
(Organizer: William Verick)
Sunday, March 6
9:00 am - 10:15 am
Keynote Address: Dr. Vandana Shiva
Sunday, March 6
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
See the full list of panels
Last Chance for Lift Tickets!
NCAP is giving away two lift tickets to Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort to the person who wins our online giving raffle...but the deadline is swiftly approaching!
Enter to win by donating at least $25.00 online by midnight on Feb. 28. We'll announce the lucky skier on March 1st via facebook.
Click here to support pesticide reform, and enter to win!
Supporter Spotlight: Jason Blake
A lot of us here in the northwest have a certain affinity for the outdoors. By far, Jason Blake is no exception.
NCAP Member and Volunteer, Jason Blake
Growing up in Kentucky, Jason spent much of his time camping and fishing. These experiences instilled in him, at a young age, a great appreciation for nature and an understanding of how important it is to live in balance with the natural world. This formed the foundation for his commitment to environmental work, which became all the more urgent when he saw the devastation from mountain-top removal mining in Eastern Kentucky and throughout Appalachia.
In the early 2000s, Jason went to work as a community organizer, working in Indiana on energy efficiency issues as well as in Michigan on organic agriculture. He then joined the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance with whom he helped to establish the 16,030 acre Sabiñoso Wilderness Area (also Sabinoso), only the second wilderness established in New Mexico in over 20 years.
Jason visited Eugene in 2009 and got to know NCAP through a job interview. When he moved here the following year to take a job with the Western Environmental Law Center as their Administrative & Development Assistant, he became involved with NCAP as a volunteer and monthly donor.
"Pesticide use has such an impact on the environment," Jason says. "It's a huge issue for me."
The Ladybug Lovely: A Lovely Way to Support NCAP
Ladybugs are a great way to defend against invading aphids in your garden. They are a powerful force in reducing the use of pesticides. The same is true for members of NCAP’s Ladybug Lovely.
The Ladybug Lovely is made up of a special group of members that agree to make on-going credit card or electronic fund transfer donations on a monthly basis to help advance alternatives to pesticides and reduce pesticide use. It is the backbone of our support because it provides us with a dependable source of revenue which will enable NCAP to work harder to protect the health of people and the environment.
Join our Ladybug Lovely today and receive this complimentary Pesticide-free Area sign from NCAP and Mountain Rose Herbs! It's a perfect addition to your pesticide-free yard or garden and adds strength to our organization.
When you join:
A tax-deductible gift in the amount you specify will be automatically charged to your credit card or taken from your bank account each month.
A record of your gifts will appear on your credit card or bank statement each month.
You will not receive additional fundraising appeals.
You will still receive timely emails and action alerts, including the NCAP Action News.
Your membership will be automatically renewed each year.
You can help NCAP protect the health of people and the environment every day!
Joining the Ladybug Lovely and getting your sign is easy -
Call 541-344-5044 ext.17!
February 2011 Issue
Letter from the Director
Salmon Under Attack
Idaho Parks Campaign
Welcome, Ben Ross
IPM in Public Housing
NCAP on GuideStar
Ski Mt. Bachelor
Our friends at Sweet Valley Organics are featured in Friday's (2/17) Capital Press.
With the USDA's recent deregulation of genetically modified alfalfa, and an expected approval of engineered salmon soon to come from congress, GM food commodities are now on everyone's minds as well as their plates.
Take Action: GMOs
Thankfully, there are ample ways to get in touch with your elected officials and tell them how you feel. Organic Consumer's Association's
Millions Against Monsanto campaign has made it easy for you to contact your legislators on every imaginable issue having to do with GMOs.
Toolbox Tip: Clover
In addition to being the international symbol for St. Patrick, or in four-leaf cases a sign of good luck, clover is a key food source for many kinds of butterfly larvae. It's also gaining popularity in some circles as an ecological lawn alternative that requires little care and that feels great on bare feet.
Still, there are plenty who prefer grass. If that's you, see our short video explaining clover in lawns and some of things you can do to manage it without chemicals.
Spare change for social change...at Buffalo Exchange?
Yes, Buffalo Exchange will be supporting NCAP by accepting in-store donations from January through June 2011.
How does it work? Through their Tokens for Bags program, Buffalo Exchange awards a five cent token to those customers who opt out of plastic bags at check out. For the first half of 2011, you can tell your cashier that you'd like to donate your token to NCAP!
Find us on Facebook
NCAP Action News Sponsors
Not a Member? Join NCAP!
Join NCAP today and add your voice to the pesticide reform movement. Your tax-deductible donation will help protect the health of people and the environment!