US IPM Standard: Chemical Imbalance

2014’s biggest IPM story had to be the piles of dead bees poisoned by routine tree spraying, and the crackdown on the neonicotinoid chemicals responsible.  By a happy coincidence, the Tree Care Industry Association is currently developing a US standard on IPM, but the window on involvement by the public and professionals is about to close.  Your comments on the Integrated Pest Management Part 10 Draft will not be accepted through January 12, 2015.  This is your last chance to advocate for a balanced IPM Standard that gives equal attention to cultural and biological means of managing pests.  Some opportunities in the current draft:

The reason for integrated pest management is to avoid or mitigate unacceptable levels of pest damage while avoiding or mitigating damage to other organisms and the ecosystem.  The ecosystem, the air and water quality we need–is the primary reason for integrated practices–and for standards!  The reason for integrated pest management is to avoid or mitigate unacceptable levels of pest damage while avoiding or mitigating damage to other organisms and the ecosystem.  The ecosystem, the air and water quality we need–is the primary reason for integrated practices–and for standards!

Diagnosis

Types of biologicals

The current draft focuses on chemical applications by large companies, like the company responsible for the big bee kill in Oregon.  That’s who wrote it, so that’s who benefits.  This draft includes not only IPM but also A Guide for Big Companies to Set up and Operate an IPM Program.  This does not apply to many users:  agencies, smaller-scale operations, or individuals. If it’s in the standard, bigger companies with a more formal program would enjoy an even greater competitive advantage.

Chemical use is the focus in this draft.  Less damaging methods are thrown aside with the weakest language possible:  ‘Consideration should be given to…’  This document needs better balance, to ensure that the standard fits users who prefer cultural and biological approaches.  Other suggestions in the copy below are to follow chronological order, simplify wording, and streamline the process.
IF you are an individual practicing less toxic pest management, the only way to avoid having the rules rigged against you is to review this draft and comment to rrouse@tcia.org.  If you are associated with any of the below committee members, please comment to them as well.

Bartlett Tree Experts pbecker@bartlett.com
Asplundh Tree Expert Co.  gkemp@asplundh.com
Davey Tree Expert Company chris.klimas@davey.com
Tree Care Industry Assn. tmugridge@forestcitytree.com
PLANET Alice Carter  acarter@valleycrest.com
Society of Municipal Arborists Nolan Rundquist nolan.rundquist@seattle.gov
International Society of Arboriculture Richard Hauer, PhD rhauer@uwsp.edu
American Society of Consulting Arborists: Torrey Young torrey@dryad.us
Professional Grounds Management Society: Gene Pouly gpouly@efpouly.com

Utility Arborists Association: William Rees (410) 291-3633
USDA/US Forest Service: Ed Macie (404) 347-1647
Alliance for Community Trees  carrie@actrees.org

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Author: Guy Meilleur

Arborist

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