Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The state's war on the light brown apple moth isn't over, but its soldiers are idling.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture has pushed back certification of its environmental impact report for the LBAM eradication program, originally scheduled for March 4.
"The EIR has yet to be certified. It is still being evaluated," CDFA spokesman Steve Lyle writes in an email.
Although the newest LBAM eradication plan puts most of its emphasis on relatively non-controversial methods like ground application of pheremone-scented twist-ties and releases of sterile moths reared in Moss Landing, it still faces pushback from activists catalyzed by the fall 2007 aerial spraying of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties with pheromone products designed to disrupt LBAM breeding.
Almost 100 conventional and organic farms and nurseries in California, large and small, have signed onto a letter asking that the LBAM eradication program and quarantines end immediately. The letter also encourages authorities to re-classify the moth as a Class C (of minor concern), rather than Class A (serious), pest.
Yannick Phillips, a Sonoma resident who helped collect signatures for the petition, says it represents the views of farmers rather than anti-pesticide activists, including several growers in Monterey County.