East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District recognizes that excessive or inappropriate chemical pesticide practices pose a significant threat to public health, the environment, soil and water quality, wildlife and wildlife habitat, native plant species, livestock on agricultural lands, urban and recreational acreage, and all other lands in East Multnomah County. The Board also recognizes that noxious weeds pose a significant threat to the environment and that in some situations chemical herbicides are a necessary tool for removing invasive species and restoring healthy ecosystems. The Board also recognizes that chemical herbicides and pesticides can be an effective tool for managing working forest and agricultural lands.
As a policy the District has adopted an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) policy that builds on Oregon State Law. “Integrated pest management,” as defined by the Board, means a coordinated decision-making and action process that recognizes broad range of on-the-ground conditions and, based on those conditions, uses the most appropriate pest control methods and strategy in an environmentally and economically sound manner to meet the pest management and conservation objectives of the District.
The elements of integrated pest management include:
- Preventing pest problems
- Monitoring for the presence of pests and pest damage
- Where pest problems are occurring, identifying a desired future conditions (acceptable damage thresholds) for the affected landscape considering the specific pest and the damage the pest causes to soil quality, water quality, ecosystems, health, public safety, economic or aesthetic values
- Treating pest problems to achieve the desired future conditions using strategies that may include biological, cultural, mechanical and chemical control methods and that shall consider the human health, ecological impact, feasibility and cost effectiveness of the respective treatment strategies
- Placing a high priority on reduction of pesticide use in the landscape
- Evaluating the efficacy of treatments on target pest species, evaluating the effects of the treatment methods on other public values, and taking corrective action to improve efficacy and reduce harmful side effects.
The District will identify an IPM coordinator to manage the IPM program across District programming.
District staff or contractors are required to employ the District’s IPM approach when implementing District restoration projects. District staff and contractors implementing District projects are required by the Board to obtain an Oregon State herbicide applicator’s license, be knowledgeable about the laws and safety requirements for pesticide use, and to maintain their licenses through continuing education.
The District is non-regulatory and has no authority regarding the public’s use of pesticides. The District implements its IPM policy through its training, technical assistance, and grant funding programs. The District’s goal is to provide solutions scaled to the pest problem while factoring in the landowner’s or partner organization’s ability to address the problem. The District may condition funding decisions and partnerships based on the pesticide and herbicide practices of the landowner and/or partner organization.
District staff that provide advice or recommendations on pesticide treatment strategies are required by the Board to obtain an Oregon State Pesticide applicator’s license, be knowledgeable about the laws and safety requirements for pesticide use, and to maintain their licenses through continuing education. The District encourages landowners and partners to consult with and/or employ licensed applicators whenever treatment strategies involve chemical pesticides.
Herbicides used by the District staff and contractors or discussed with landowners who choose to use them must be approved by the ODA for specific applications. No herbicides are recommended that have been determined to be carcinogenic, developmental toxins, mutagenic, or causing reproductive effects by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, or other reliable sources or studies. Herbicides used for noxious weed control will be of low acute toxicity and biodegradable.