Despite finding 17 pesticides in estuary waters and 10 instances of contamination, Water Board has no plans to rein in chemical use In late January, 2018, the state agency charged with enforcing the federal Clean Water Act released a long-awaited report on the results of two years of water quality testing in the Smith River Estuary. The testing detected 17 pesticides in the streams, creeks and ditches that feed the estuary, and 10 instances of contamination of the aquatic food chain. The findings appear to show that Easter lily farmers are in violation of the Clean Water Act, which was passed in 1972 in large part to protect precious aquatic resources such as the West Coast’s dwindling salmon populations.
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.
Siskiyou Land Conservancy has completed one of our most exciting projects yet. In October 2016 we recorded a conservation easement to protect the natural values of a 183-acre parcel on the Mad River, above Maple Creek in Humboldt County.
In March 2015, in one of the most Orwellian displays of deference to industry ever shown by a California state agency, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) gave Easter lily farmers an “Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Innovator Award” for allegedly reducing pesticide use “by about 50 percent over the last 20 years.” Read More
State and federal regulators charged with protecting public trust values — such as clean air and water, healthy wildlife, and human health — are apparently uninterested in enforcing laws that should protect the estuary. It was in spring of 2014 that Siskiyou Land Conservancy obtained the clearest evidence that pesticides are indeed poisoning one of Read More