Siskiyou Land Conservancy
Protecting California’s Wild North Coast and Rivers Since 2004

Easter Lily Feature Articles

It’s probably safe to say that no one likes using pesticides. Even Easter lily farmers have told me that “we don’t like using them,” adding that they have “no choice.” The lily bulb crops would be ruined, they say, without the 300,000 pounds of dangerous chemicals they apply each year to farmlands that surround the Smith River estuary and border residential neighborhoods and an elementary school.

Certainly farming is economically fraught. The weather, the pests, the whims of fickle consumers. Individually and combined, the challenges facing farmers are many. Read More

The Smith River Community Health Assessment (available here) is the result of a survey mailed earlier this year by Siskiyou Land Conservancy to all residents of the isolated California town of Smith River, which lies near the estuary of the Wild and Scenic Smith River just a few miles south of the Oregon border.

Just before Easter, the national on-line news magazine TakePart has run a major story about pesticides used on the Smith River Plain to grow Easter lilies. TakePart describes itself as "the digital division of Participant Media," the company that brought us such films as Academy Award winning Spotlight, as well as An Inconvenient Truth and CITIZENFOUR.

The Sustainable Technology & Policy Program at UCLA recently released a report that shows a combination of three commonly used, carcinogenic fumigants — two of which, metam sodium and 1,3-dichloropropene, are used in high concentrations on the Smith River Plain — "can interact to synergistically (to) increase the toxicity to humans." What that means is that the whole carcinogenicity is greater than the sum of the carcinogenic parts.Read More