TCWC Seeks Information on Non-Toxic Alternatives

From the Topanga Messenger

Dear editor,

The National Park Service (NPS) is beginning to formulate a plan to systematize and track its management of unwanted (“invasive”) vegetation on federal lands in the Santa Monica Mountains. In accordance with federal regulations, they are required to solicit and consider comments (supported by science) from the public.

Since the NPS is hoping that the protocols being developed now for the SMMNRA might be adopted by other land managers, across the country, for years to come, the Topanga Creek Watershed Committee sees this as an amazing and rare opportunity to possibly influence the way herbicide is used (or not used) far and wide. The NPS is considering the aerial spraying of herbicide as one of their tools. We would like them to adopt a completely non-toxic approach instead.

To that end, we are collecting all of the best information that we can find regarding the harmful effects of herbicides on non-target species, the efficacy of non-toxic weed management, independent science on plant ecology, and related issues. It’s a big job, and it has to be done now, because as more time passes, the amount of influence our comments can have will diminish. Anyone who cares about this issue, please send a note right now to

October 1 is the deadline for public comment for this stage of NPS’ Invasive Plant Management Plan (IPMP) and Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and Redwood National Park (SMMNRA).

We need all the help we can get; regardless of your background, skills, or ability, we will find a way to make the most of your contribution, and maybe make a real difference.

—Ben Allanoff, Chair, Topanga Creek Watershed Committee