Targeting sharpshooters……the price of monocropping, aerial spraying?

Following is Magick Altmann’s excellent letter to the editor in today’s PD. I am including the link, in case any of you might like to respond.

A little history, which I have provided at meetings before, follows. In 2001 the wine industry was afraid of these tiny glassy-winged sharpshooters, as they are once again. So Ag. Commissioner John Westoby and the wine barons decided to spray our homes and farms from the skies, without our permission. We formed the No Spray Action Network, which you can read about by doing a google search. We hosted meetings of up to 500 people. CBS-TVs “60 Minutes”came to town to cover the story.

We got the wine industry to the table and came up with an agreement. If they agreed not to spray us without our permission, we would let them put traps on our places.


Targeting sharpshooters

EDITOR: Here we go again. The blue-green, jewel-winged, glassy-eyed sharpshooter has landed among the rows of crucified grape plants to be falsely accused of a crime against the estate (“Pierce’s disease rising concern for vines,” Feb. 12). Called by the speciest terms pest, invader and you name it, this bug in the system apparently deserves the death sentence via insecticide.

By the way, if the grape gropers would just dry farm, then the rootstock becomes hardened and very resistant to being “pierced.”

Exactly what we told you last time this came up, when y’all were getting ready to do some toxic aerial spraying like they did in Vietnam with Agent Orange. We know how well that turned out.

The solution I love the best is planting redwoods all around the vineyards, as the article suggests. Heck, plant them in the vineyards. Soon maybe the grapes will just become some wild vines in the midst of a redwood forest. What a beautiful thought. But you can’t get drunk on it, or fill your bank account every harvest.

Oh, humans. When will we get with the planet?



1 comment

  1. Will Shonbrun

    In her inimitable style, Magick gets to the heart of the matter: hysteria over nothing to protect the wine-growers pocketbook. The dreaded sharpshooter, purveyor of the deadly Pierce’s Disease plague was all hype and paranoia, a wine-industry attempt to spray citizens’ land and homes with toxic pesticides that they wanted MANDATORY. By air no less! Well, it didn’t fly then and it won’t get off the ground now.

    The wine industry in Sonoma controls Sonoma politics. Read Will Parrish’s investigative report in the current issue of the Sonoma Valley Sun. It says it all and Will’s only scratched the gritty surface.

    Nothing wrong with vineyards and wine production except the inordinate amount of herbicides and pesticides it uses, water it takes from public consumption to produce greater yields, trees it clear-cuts to produce the stuff, which is pleasant enough for getting a buzz on, but serves no nutritional purpose and the rest of its transgressions in their zeal for bigger and bigger profits. As far as doing any of this “sustainably” that’s pure fertilizer.

    The industry had better get hip to the fact that more and more county residents know what they’re up to, don’t like it and are organizing to curb their enthusiasm for the love of money, not the land.

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