Letters to the Editor March 1, 2019
Impressive SDC articleDear Editors,
I was very impressed with Tracy Salcedo's Guest Editor column (Feb. 1 Kenwood Press) regarding the concept of creating an Eldridge Trust to help solve the issue of going forward with acquiring this beautiful, now-vacated 900-plus acres of the Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC).
This very well written and informative article explained how the Presidio of San Francisco faced a similar situation in the past century when it formed a private-public nonprofit corporation that no one thought could be successful. As Tracy pointed out, this Trust was ultimately successful, operating without taxpayer support.
It will take a lot of time, hard work and mutual cooperation with local agencies and the State, but of all the possible proposals I have read I like this idea the best. My dog, Toby, agrees and wants as much open space as possible preserved for our daily walks at SDC.
Why use herbicides? Dear Editors,
Recently Sonoma County Regional Park personnel were out spraying “Rodeo” herbicide in Plaza Park. I have a concern. Why are herbicides still being used in our public parks that are frequented by families with young children and dogs? Research indicates these glyphosate formulations are probably carcinogenic and embryonic and endocrine disruptors, and are banned in several countries.
I contacted the offices of Regional Parks and the First District Supervisor, and had courteous and sympathetic conversations with these folks, conversations that didn't go anywhere. The consensus is that herbicide use is the most efficient, most economical and convenient way to control “noxious” weeds, especially during these times of climate change and catastrophic fires. Maybe the most efficient, cheapest way isn't always the right way, and maybe we're in this environmental mess because we've always taken the easy way. There are better, though more labor intensive, options than walking around spraying poison.
Twenty years into the 21st century humanity should have a better idea of the consequences and collateral damage we can cause by trying to control nature. The jury is out on the environmental damage being caused by the massive worldwide applications of these synthetic pesticides/herbicides. (Probably Monsanto knows.) We definitely have not been friendly to this Earth in the short time humanity has been around.
All of us in the valley should be aware of the herbicides being applied to our local vineyards. Just look at the bare scoured ground under the vines or the sickly yellow-orange dying vegetation. I don't think we give it much thought, but in my bit of reading I've done on glyphosate, it doesn't stay where it's sprayed or degrade as fast as they say. Some of this chemical is flushed into surrounding streams, ending up in the aquatic food chain, or is taken up by the crops and vines, and ends up in our food and drink. Maybe we wine drinkers need to give our business to those responsible wineries producing organic, biodynamic, or natural wines, those vineyards respecting this fragile planet.
This letter isn't about drinking wine, but about changing the way we interact with nature, doing the more difficult but right things so that maybe we can stay here a little bit longer, in a healthier world.
And to those folks with backyard gardens, give some thought before your next application of weed control poison. It's probably killing more than just a few weeds.
We need to live lighter on our increasingly abused planet.
Protect mountain lions with common sense solutions Dear Editors,
I'm terribly saddened about yet another (third) mountain lion death due to negligence of farm animal owners. Jupiter was only 13 months old and recently left the care of his mother to fend for himself. Instead of protecting their farm animals from predators like mountain lions, this Napa Valley family decided it was best to kill Jupiter.
Mountain lions are predators and will hunt and kill what is easily available to them. If farm animals are properly protected in “predator proof” housing, the mountain lions can focus on hunting other wild animals, namely deer. This is a win-win solution for the farm owner who doesn't lose their animals, as well as the mountain lions. No animal should have to die with this common sense solution.
Humans are supposed to be the most intelligent species on the planet.
If this is the case, then why do humans continue to cause so much destruction on the planet? As humans, we should be intelligent enough to protect the fellow creatures in our care by not attracting predators to our property. The fault of the farm animal deaths will always lie on the humans that do not properly secure their animals from predators.
I implore anyone that has farm animals to purchase “predator proof” housing. Please contact Sonoma Wildlife Rescue for help with this. And please do this to save the lives of all the potential innocent victims involved, both the mountain lions and the farm animals. They all deserve to live.
I'm also going to make a plea to pass common-sense laws to protect mountain lions. This law should make it illegal to kill a mountain lion, either by getting a depredation permit or killing it themselves, if their animals are not properly secured and they didn't take all non-lethal steps necessary before ending the life of a sentient being.
I urge those that care about protecting mountain lions from the same fate as Jupiter to contact their elected officials about changing the law. Please also consider supporting Audubon Canyon Ranch Living With Lions project.
How many more senseless deaths will it take to make a change? I hope Jupiter's death is the last one.