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“Forests: Concerns Grow About Herbicide Use In Wildfires’ Wake”

“First, the wildfires came to California and Oregon, scorching hundreds of thousands of acres of national forests.

Next, weeds will sprout on those blackened lands. They'll be followed quickly by chemical weedkillers like glyphosate, as the Forest Service tries to make trees grow again.

That cycle of fire and reforestation, aided by herbicides, is likely to accelerate if climate change-induced wildfires increase as scientists predict, and as federal forest management policies tilt toward a more intensive approach to clearing potential fuel for the blazes.

The Forest Service's use of herbicides and pesticides has raised occasional alarm from environmental groups, which point to the chemical's potential to harm wildlife or water supplies, or to have long-term effects on people who apply them. In some regions, they say, scarcely a tree-planting project occurs without the use of chemical herbicides.”

Marc Heller reports for E&E News October 8, 2020.