The goals of the Parks, Recreation, Open Space & Golf Department’s (PROS) Integrated Pest Management and Herbicide Policy (IPM) are to help prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage on Lafayette public lands through the proper assessment of risks to people, property, other living organisms and the environment, while balancing costs, benefits, public health considerations and environmental characteristics. Pests are defined as any noxious weed, problem insect, plant disease, rodent, nematode, or microorganism which is detrimental to the environment or the stated management plan for our public lands.
Summary of Progressive Steps in Lafayette’s IPM Decision-Making
The steps below are listed in priority of order of use. Pesticides are not the first line of defense to manage pests and are utilized as a last resort after other control measures have not been effective. PROS utilizes herbicides as a last resort to control noxious weeds.
- Pest Prevention Measures
- Pest Avoidance and Threshold Tolerance
- Mechanical Means and Hand Labor
- Cultural and Best Management Practices (BMP) Controls
- Biological Controls
- Organic Controls
- Synthetic Controls
For weeds that are considered “noxious” by the State Department of Agriculture, which mandates the control and spread of noxious weeds in Colorado pursuant to the Colorado Noxious Weed Act, the City is required to regularly monitor weed populations and their spread. In the rare circumstance that requires PROS to use herbicides, the formula is a form of 2-4D which is the most common type of broad lead herbicide available today. PROS uses pre-emergence and non-selective herbicides in limited fashion when hand-pulling, mowing or bio-alternatives are not feasible, such as in cracks between pavement or concrete walks/trail edges.
- Careful product selection: Staff evaluates potential products for the least toxicological characteristics to effectively control the targeted pest.
- Assessment of environmental conditions: Weather conditions are evaluated to avoid chemical trespass and to assess the presence of land patrons, pollinators and other living beneficial organisms.
- Notification of the public: Application information is posted at area public entry points immediately prior to the start of application, and is kept in place up to 24 hours after completion. Adjacent residents registered with the State on the Pesticide Sensitivity Registry are contacted prior to application.
- Personal protection equipment: All pesticide applicators will be provided the appropriate personal protective equipment to perform pesticide applications in a safe and responsible manner.
- Licensed staff: PROS staff is licensed through the state as either a Qualified Supervisor, Certified Operator, or Spray Tech; all of which require training and ongoing continuing education credits and periodic state evaluation.
For additional details regarding the City’s IPM policy, please refer to the full Integrated Pest Management Plan.