PUBLISHED: 1:55 PM on Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Concerns not being heard
Letter to the Editor
Long Island is the backyard and food pantry for Hydaburg, and for many others in the area, including Ketchikan. The Department of Environmental Conservation just gave a permit to Klukwan, Inc. to aerially spray pesticides on Long Island. I am appalled. Every tribe in Southeast is against aerial spraying.

DEC doesn't even want to hear that we have concerns about spraying pesticides where we traditionally gather foods. Many people wanted a chance to testify. I know. I collected 84 names of people who wanted a chance to speak in just one and a half days. This petition request for a public hearing was denied by DEC. Combinations of active ingredients including surfactants and solvents can cause enhanced effects. Lack of studies on the specific mixture proposed for (Arsenol/Accord/Competitor/In-Place) introduces uncertainty as to health effects. How does DEC definitely know that the combined chemicals won't have harmful effects on our salmon streams, traditional foods, or children? Also, DEC says the chemicals won't cause cancer, but they don't mention that studies show that glyphosate can disrupt hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. DEC's conclusion that safety reviews of glyphosate conducted worldwide show no indication of concern for human health is not substantiated by the scientific literature.

The reason more than 900 people sent in comments, most of them opposing the permit, is that they are worried. Yes, even those 700 or so people that sent in "form" comments that DEC says are not important. They still were worried enough to send comments. DEC has not answered our questions.

If Klukwan, Inc. is dead set on getting rid of the alder and salmonberry, they don't have to use chemicals. They could hire youth to thin the alder, giving people at least some summer jobs.

They could take the cut alder and make it into chips, then sell it for smoking fish. Why do they insist on spraying when they could make money off what they want to kill?

There are too many unanswered questions about this aerial pesticide spraying permit. DEC isn't listening to valid questions and concerns.

Carrie L. James