Saguaro Natl Park to spray glyphosate, main ingredients in Monsanto’s Roundup, by helicopter near residences


Last month, an international agency declared glyphosate, the primary ingredient in the popular product Roundup, a “probable human carcinogen.” The weed killer also has made recent headlines for its widespread use on genetically modified seeds and research that links it to antibiotics resistance and hormone disruption. Several national governments are planning to restrict its use, and some school districts are talking about banning it.
Source: National Geographic: What Do We Really Know About Roundup Weed Killer?

In the National Geographic article above we read that some school districts are thinking about banning the spraying of glyphosate. Meanwhile TUSD school board member, and Forest Ranger at Saguaro National Park by day, Cam Juarez has expressed no vocal opposition to the spraying of this dangerous chemical at his workplace and that is near family homes.

Forest Ranger Cam Juarez who works at Saguaro National Park has no vocal opposition to this spraying of chemicals at his workplace and near residences.

Forest Ranger Cam Juarez who works at Saguaro National Park has no vocal opposition to this spraying of Roundup chemicals by helicopter at his workplace and near residences.

Saguaro National Park has announced on its website that helicopter spraying of buffelgrass with glyphosate, labeled a “probable carcinogen” by the World Health Organization last year, is likely to begin on or about August 16.

In the West unit the Panther Peak area is being targeted.

Their map shows that the spray area is about 1/4 mile from Picture Rocks residences where people were made sick by earlier spraying.

It also includes a portion of Picture Rocks Road. Spray sickness symptoms include nausea and vomiting and affects animals as well as humans.

Neighbors affected by spraying should call the Arizona Dept. of Agriculture Pesticide Hotline immediately: 602–541–0901 or 800–423–8876.

At meetings last month the Park admitted that an inexperienced pilot in previous spraying caused overlaps which created a heavier-than-planned spray, causing plant damage.

They have stated publicly that such overlaps, and other causes of heavy glyphosate concentrations, have to be accepted. However, the Park does not admit its spraying made neighbors sick. They do not monitor effects of spraying on wildlife. Or people.

The Park has said that the cost of aerial spraying is about the same as boots-on-the-ground buffelgrass removal, $150–172 per acre. The Avra Valley Coalition has been working to have the park use ground crews, who can see what they are doing, instead of aircraft. Hikers, as well as Park staff, regularly travel this supposedly “inaccessible” area regularly and the Park’s announcement states that access to the South side of Panther Peak will be closed to hikers during the spray season.

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The Park’s announcement:

As early as August 16, visitors to Saguaro National Park may observe a low-flying helicopter in route to spray herbicide on invasive buffelgrass in rugged backcountry terrain.
Panther Peak in the Tucson Mountain District (west) and multiple locations in the south western portion of the Rincon Mountain District (east) and east of the Madrona access point, are scheduled for treatments however, that is dependent on precipitation. Access to the south side of Panther Peak in the Tucson Mountain District (west) and the Tanque Verde Ridge Trail in the Rincon Mountain District (east) will be closed during treatment. Updates providing locations of daily closures due to aerial spraying will be available on the park’s website:

Tucson Water, which also does aerial spraying of the buffelgrass it planted in the Avra Valley in the 1970s, began its cropduster coverage this year in late July, with buffelgrass still dormant. The “wonder grass of Texas” which is widely planted in Sonora as cattle forage, has to green up sufficiently for glyphosate to be effective, according to neighbors quoting the City’s posted notices. Earlier spraying sickened a family and their dog as well as killing cattle forage on a neighboring ranch.

Originally published at TSON News.