Unlike Lanark and Lennox and Addington, there is not countywide spraying plan to deal with Wild Parsnip along public roadways in Frontenac County. Since there is not county roads department in Frontenac, it is left entirely to the townships to determine what action they would like to take. In South Frontenac, some of the more highly infested areas have been dealt with through targeted use of Roundup, applied directly on the plant. Local beekeepers have been notified before the applications have occurred to enable them to keep their swarms out of harms way.
This year, however, the public works department is going to tender for some more extensive herbicide use, which will cover larger sections or even entire roads if necessary.
“I do think the problem is real and needs to be addressed,” said Public Works Manager Mark Segsworth. “We decided to go to tender and then bring a concrete proposal to council for debate. That way council will know exactly what they are being asked to approve and the public will as well.”
Segwsorth said he has heard the arguments about the dangers of herbicides as they are being applied in neighboring municipalities and about wild parsnip being less of a threat to human health as some people claim, but feels it is a real danger to public health.
“I’m concerned about what would happen if a dog or a young child ran through a thick patch of it,” he said.
Segsworth said he approached the public works departments in North and Central Frontenac about a joint tender to deal with the problem but they both declined.
North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins submitted an article on Clearview, the herbicide of choice in Lanark and L&A, by ecologist, activist and sometime Frontenac News environmental correspondent Gray Merriam to Frontenac County last week. A different, similar article by Merriam can be read by clicking here.
Higgins cited Merriam’s work in a tweet on May 3rd in which he said he “opposes the use of herbicides to combat invasive plants.”