From Ben Allanoff, Chair, Topanga Creek Watershed Committee:

If you would like to see a Topanga Creek Watershed that is completely free of toxic chemicals, please: 

1) click here: http://signon.org/sign/no-more-poison?source=c.em.cp&r_by=4620671 to sign our online petition; 

2) forward this email to everyone you know;

3) print out the attached hard copy of the petition, carry it with you, and gather signatures wherever you go;

4) if you want to do more (and we really hope you do), contact me, Ben Allanoff, Chair, Topanga Creek Watershed Committee, 21936 Canon Dr.,Topanga, CA 90290 at (310) 908-5505 or topanga.tcwc@gmail.com. (Please do not sign more than one petition, regardless of the format.) 

Many of you know that, after a long break, Caltrans recently resumed spraying herbicide along the sides of Topanga Canyon Boulevard, and that CA State Parks, working with the Mountains Restoration Trust and other groups, has for years used  herbicide to kill unwanted plants in Lower Topanga (among many other places). You also might know that some local residents continue to use rodenticide (toxic chemicals) to control mice, rats, and gophers on their property, despite the misery and death that this causes among predator animals.  

You also might know that the Topanga Creek Watershed Committee has protested these practices for years, and that we have also created opportunities for everyone to learn about the dangers that these practices present, and about no-risk, effective, non-toxic alternatives. Our efforts have been effective in some cases – the MRCA has stopped using chemicals in Edelman Park, for instance – but many others have stubbornly resisted our simple, clear demand to STOP THE POISON. 

Right now, spurred by Caltrans’ recent resumption of poison-spraying along our main street, and with a groundswell of strong support from other local groups and individuals, we are launching what we hope will be a decisive campaign to create a POISON-FREE WATERSHED – to eliminate the use of these chemicals, by anyone and everyone in our watershed, once and for all!  This seems like one thing that all of us – or most of us – can agree on.  

Additionally, we hope to inspire folks in other communities to rise up in the same way.  

Our petition states our objection to the use of toxic chemicals for the purpose of killing unwanted plants, animals, and insects in our watershed, and demands that all those who engage in,support, or allow this practice – including (but not limited to) CA State Parks, Caltrans, the Mountains Restoration Trust, and our elected public servants, – join us in our campaign to STOP THE POISON, and to utilize and support non-toxic methods instead.  

Thoroughly documenting the will of the community is our immediate focus. We want to demonstrate how many Topangans really share our point of view. We will use this evidence as one important tool – but not the only tool – to help us sway the perpetrators and those that have influence over them, to get them to embrace a more thoughtful, sustainable way of living and working, one that does not damage – even potentially –  our health, or the health of the local wildlife that we love so much. 

Many of us are not fond of Arundo donax, wild mustard, mice, or gophers – but killing them by introducing poison into our environment is an idea who’s time has passed.  It’s time to move on.
Ben Allanoff –
Chair, Topanga Creek Watershed Committee

*Note: The MRT reports that it used herbicides in the Topanga watershed on two dates only in 2010, and on an extremely limited basis. MRT has no plans to use herbicides in Topanga in the future.

UPDATE: See letter from Caltrans (click on the link below) regarding the cessation of their recent spraying operations in Topanga Canyon and requesting community input for finding an amicably agreeable solution. Topanga Weed Control 6-4-12