County must end herbicide use on West Milford roadways

Sep 25 2019 | 11:11 AM

To the Editor:

For three years our town of West Milford has been asking Passaic County to stop the roadside spraying that is poisoning our land, water, people, and wildlife with the proven carcinogen and a neuro-toxin commonly called Round-Up (Glyphosate), and we have been ignored.

This poison seeps down into our drinking water.

Our once-beautiful roadsides look horrible, the greenery and wild flowers have been killed off, and for what?

The county insists that spraying is cheaper than mowing, and even if that was true, which is debatable, the price does not reflect the true cost to our environment, and to our health.

We also want to increase tourism and this does nothing to help that cause.

The “scorched earth” look is, to say the least, unattractive.

We must stop killing everything.

Those roadside plants support wildlife, including our precious and threatened pollinators that protect against erosion and flooding, too, especially at the bottom of our steep slopes.

Several citizens spoke at the Township Council meeting last Wednesday, and we learned that the council unanimously supports our request to have this practice banned immediately.

It also expressed interest in hearing about what other towns and cities are doing to become officially designated pollinator friendly cities by planting native nectar producing plants that support bees and butterflies and look beautiful while doing so.

I am working on a presentation regarding that.

The board of Sustainable West Milford (sustainablewestmilford.org) has written an official position paper on this and we welcome and encourage the support of all local residents.

It seems that requesting (to the county) is not enough, and insistence and demanding are needed.

Robin Rose Bennett,

Sustainable West Milford Board Member