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Hello again,

While the environmental and human rights movement is fraught with challenges, it is also rich with joy and many great rewards. For me, one of those rewards is finding new inspiration in other passionate people who share in this work. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being inspired by Dr. Vandana Shiva, internationally renowned scientist, environmentalist and agricultural activist.

Dr. Shiva met with us while in Eugene for three weeks as a visiting scholar with the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics at the University of Oregon, and as a keynote speaker for the 2011 Food Justice Conference and the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC). As we sat and discussed the work we both care so much about, and as she spoke of the wonderful projects happening in her home country, it refreshed my sense of hope for all those who are working for positive change in the face of money and power. If she can work to make the country of Bhutan 100% organic, then surely there is a way for the northwest!

I'd like to impart that sense of hope in this month's update as we bring you multiple opportunities to take action on pesticide issues impacting the northwest region. Your voice matters, so speak up! In reading, you'll also find our analysis of the latest NMFS biological opinion, new resources from the Sustainable Places Information Network (SPIN), highlights from the PIELC, more from our interview with Dr. Shiva, as well as details for our upcoming series of talks with author, Benjamin Ross.

 Until April,

Kim Signature

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Kim Leval, Executive Director

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Protect Salmon and Science: Send Comments to NMFS

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Young Steelhead Trout

While their own data clearly shows that pesticides like triclopyr BEE harm and even kill groups of salmon and steelhead, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) does not support tightening legal restrictions on such pesticides. This is the gist of their latest biological opinion (BiOp), a draft of which was released early in March. The full study reviews risks posed to salmon by the chemicals 2,4-D, diuron, linuron, triclopyr BEE, captan and chlorothalonil.

Read NCAP's full analysis

Comments on the draft biological opinion are being accepted until April, 5th, so you can contact the NMFS and tell them that it's time to get serious about how these chemicals are regulated.

Suggested Talking Points to NMFS and EPA:

1. Thank NMFS for raising the scientific standard by going beyond industry generated data and evaluating the concerns associated with habitat degradation, exposure to undisclosed inert ingredients, and synergistic effects.

2. Tell NMFS it is its duty to ensure legal pesticide applications do not harm salmon. Urge NMFS in the final biological opinion to uphold the Endangered Species Act by evaluating the pesticide uses that EPA has legally authorized, rather than relying on unverifiable claims by pesticide manufacturers who insist that  voluntary best practices are the norm. 

3. Express support for the proposed protective measures that are outlined in the draft Biological Opinion. Urge NMFS to maintain and expand upon these protections in the final BiOp.

4. Urge NMFS to utilize any effective and verifiable best management practices of applicators as input for how to best improve EPA’s registration requirements.

5. Urge EPA to act swiftly to implement strong protective measures to keep these pesticides out of our waters.

Submitting your comments:

To submit comments go to the federal rulemaking portal at:

Follow the online instructions to submit comments.

You must list the docket identification number (EPAHQ-OPP-2008-0654) as well as the pesticides to which the biological opinion pertains :2,4-D, captan, chlorothalonil, diuron, linuron, and ticlopyr BEE.

All comments are public and will be posted on the docket.

Thirty Minutes with Dr. Vandana Shiva

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Vandana Shiva and Kim Leval

Dr. Shiva has been involved in environmental and social movements since the 1970s. However, her passion for ecology and justice were permanently kindled in 1984 when a Union Carbide (UCIL) pesticide factory leaked poisonous gas killing thousands of people in Bhopal, India. This much she shared when we spoke a few weeks ago. Since the Bhopal disaster, she has written numerous books and devoted her energy and intellect to protect people and ecosystems all over the world. 

Most notable is her work to revive traditional forms of agriculture that enhance organic practices and forego the use of pesticides. This preserves biodiversity and enables Indian farmers to grow crops in a healthier way that doesn't lead to debt. Debt is a huge problem for farmers in India who become trapped in conventional, mono-crop style operations that require them to purchase increasing amounts of expensive inputs like seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. As a result, farmer suicides in India now total in the hundreds of thousands.
Thankfully, Dr. Shiva has fostered a rapidly growing organic movement in India, and has won important battles against biotech corporations like Monsanto who have repeatedly attempted to engineer seeds out of the public domain. Shiva and her team have protected the neem plant, basmati and wheat by defeating private efforts to patent these resources. Through her Navdanya network of more than 70,000 farmers across 16 Indian states, 34 seed banks have been established and more than 2000 varieties of rice conserved.
To learn more about this truly inspiring work, visit the Navdanya network. Also, see our video of the full interview in two parts:

Part 1           

Part 2

Alternatives in Action

Bob Fiorello

Bob Fiorello, SF BG

We've just added another video to NCAP's Sustainable Places Information Network (SPIN), an online professional site offering resources and collaborative tools for reducing pesticide use in parks and other public spaces. This month, we spoke with Bob Fiorello of the San Francisco Botanical Gardens about their efforts to eliminate pesticide use.

Principles of Integrated Pest Management: Bob Fiorello of the San Francisco Botanical Gardens explains the ecological ideals that drive their integrated pest management policy.

Be sure also to check the SPIN blog for the latest campaign update from Pesticide Action Network, Blaine County, who are working with community stakeholders to create an IPM plan that would eliminate much pesticide use throughout the county. Read the full story.

You don't have to be a SPIN member to access the resources on the site, so check out the rest of our vides and information on alternatives to pesticides.

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 for pesticide reduction.

Sign up for SPIN

Talking Trash: The History of Chemical Pollution

Ben Ross

Benjamin Ross

In 3 weeks, 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:

First Alternative Co-op (South Store) 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.

PIELC 2011


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Thanks to everyone who joined us at the 2011 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, especially our fellow panelist, Olena Kravchenko, who traveled all the way from Ukraine. Olena is the Executive Director of Environment People Law, which recently undertook a project to locate and remediate stores of old pesticides.

We hope you found the panel informative. NCAP appreciates all the discussion and great questions regarding our legal work. We are also happy to answer any further questions you may have. Please send inquiries to

See you at PIELC 2012!

Announcing the NCAP Business League

The NCAP business league consists of businesses that care about creating a healthy and sustainable world and who know that a healthy environment is good for business. We'd like to extend an extra special THANK YOU to all our current NCAP Business League members. 

Click here to view the current business league roster and to learn how your business can support our work.   

Business Spotlight: Café Mam

Café Mam logo color smallCafé Mam/Royal Blue Organics is a long-time dedicated supporter of NCAP and the pesticide reform movement.  Café Mam coffee is grown by fair trade cooperatives of native Mayan farmers living in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico and Guatemala.  For more than two decades, Café Mam has partnered with coffee farmers and cooperatives to bring superb, organically certified fair trade coffee to thousands of customers. 
Royal Blue Organics donates two percent of Café Mam sales (over $130 thousand donated since our inception) to pesticide reform groups. NCAP is a proud to partner with such a socially conscious and aware business.  Please visit to learn more about Cafe Mam/Royal Blue Organics. 
Do you have a business? 

Visit the Business League webpage to learn more about becoming an NCAP Business League member and join the growing list of businesses that are standing up for a healthy environment!

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. 

PFA Sign

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!

March 2011 Issue
  • Letter from the Director
  • Salmon and Science
  • Vandana Shiva
  • Alternatives in Action
  • Welcome, Ben Ross
  • PIELC 2011 Wrap Up
  • Business League
  • Business Spotlight
  • Ladybug Lovely

Take Action: Rally for the Right to Know

Salem, OR 3/26/11

Millions Against Monsanto

Activists are rallying in cities across the country as part of a national day of action for truth in labeling of all genetically engineered foods.

Join Organic Consumers Association and others in Salem, OR on March 26, 2011 to demand that all GMOs be labeled.

Salem, OR rally

Rallies in other cities

Toolbox Tip: Shrub Beds and Flower Beds

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Maybe you've already started your spring planting, or maybe you're getting ready to. Either way, there are many things you can do at this early stage to help avoid weeds in your garden.

See our factsheet on Shrub Beds and Flower Beds for pointers on how best to plan your plantings.


Shrub Beds and Flower Beds

Spare change for social 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!

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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!


Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides . . 541-344-5044

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