About 100 people in Cherryville protest against a government proposal to apply pesticides Saturday.

About 100 people in Cherryville protest against a government proposal to apply pesticides Saturday.

Cherryville protests pesticide use

Residents take issue with Ministry of Forests' proposal for chemical applications

Cherryville residents are expressing concerns about chemical control of weeds in local forests.

About 100 people gathered Saturday to oppose the Ministry of Forests’ proposal to spray 20,000 litres of pesticides near the Shuswap River.

“The  Ministry of Forests tells us that this spray program has been planned since 2008, showing how pesticides have become an integral part of the province’s arsenal to manage forests for the logging industry,” said Carla Vierke, a rally organizer.

“Healthy forests that have plant diversity that provide balanced habitat for a variety of species have no need to spray.”

Bee SAFE, a local environmental organization, is concerned pesticides could have a negative impact on plant and animal species.

“We don’t need the surfactants, sulphuric acid, and other contaminants used as inert ingredients in our watershed,” said Huguette Allen, with  the group.

“Bee SAFE’s letter to the ministry made it clear that we’re concerned that spraying is motivated by economic factors instead of ecological factors.”

Vierke says the rally was only the beginning to opposing government activities.

“Although 100 people could not immediately stop the helicopters, their perseverance would win out as long as they remained determined to take back the forest,” she said.