Regarding the Guest Column: Saving Willapa requires careful thought, accurate reporting:
Thanks, Robert, for providing your usual thoughtful writing on this most important topic. I've found that often, reporters and the media get chemistry wrong. And quotes in articles can be taken out of context, thereby giving them a different connotation than intended, even if the quote is accurate.
In this case, certainly a statement like "it doesn't kill anything we care about" is ridiculous. No chemical is that specific, and one person's prize species is another's scurge. The jury is not out yet on spartina, despite the word on the street. Take a look at David Theodoropoulos' book, "Invasion Biology," and check out some of the references therein.
We play with nature at our own peril. We'd be better off observing more carefully, and letting nature point us in the right direction. Eradication on such a large scale, as you say, is bound to have effects we can't predict. Battles often get more press than consensus and working together.
I'd like to see everyone in the Willapa Bay area work together to better understand the ecosystem, and how spartina fits in. Change is inevitable in nature. Understanding it better will bring us many rewards.
Hooray for Robert Michael Pyle. His Guest Column in this week's paper finally lent some clarity to a most contentious issue.
The spartina spraying issue was made even more confusing by the Observer article printed a week earlier. Rather than shed some light on a very important problem for the community, the article was misleading and inflammatory. A newspaper has the obligation to its readers to report objectively and truthfully. Simply quoting individuals at the far ends of the opinion spectrum is a disservice to those who are looking for clarity around a very complex issue. What happened to reporters doing their homework? A little research into the history of this contentious topic and some facts regarding herbicide use in other areas like our bay would be most helpful.
I'm sorry to say that I lost a good deal of respect for the Observer after having read that article.