Regular readers of The Grizzly Gazette may have noted Public Notices over the past few issues advising the community of the start of a vegetative management program by Blue Ridge Lumber Inc. (a subsidiary of West Fraser). Through this program, roughly 4430 ha of already harvested area in the region is to be treated with Vision Max to manage competing vegetation as part of the company's ongoing reforestation efforts.
What is Vision Max?
Vision Max is a versatile herbicide designed for foliar application (application to the leaves) within the forestry and industrial sectors. This herbicide is readily soluble in water, devoid of residual effects, and poses little to no risk to humans or wildlife when applied according to recommended dosages. The active ingredient in Vision Max is glyphosate, but the herbicide also contains a surfactant mixture to aid in the penetration of the active ingredient and water. The herbicide is further diluted with water before being applied. Glyphosate is also present in a variety of products commonly used by farmers and homeowners to control unwanted vegetation.
Is it safe?
Decades of comprehensive toxicological investigations have established that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Vision Max, does not induce cancer, birth abnormalities, allergic responses, or mutagenic impacts. These findings align with assessments made by Canadian regulatory authorities as well as the World Health Organization. Glyphosate's mechanism of action influences the synthesis of specific amino acids, a metabolic procedure exclusive to plants and select microorganisms.
In response to a request for further information, Blue Ridge Lumber issued this statement:
"West Fraser recognizes that sustainable and responsible forest stewardship is about much more than trees and includes a wide range of values from biodiversity and riparian areas to traditional use and visual quality objectives.
We use a variety of treatments (such as manual brushing treatments or spraying with Vision Max) to successfully reforest harvested areas as the regenerating forests support a wide range of values which are all considered when developing our plans.
All planned spray treatments follow health and safety guidelines by the appropriate government agencies and are part of an advertised public engagement process. We also seek direct engagement with Indigenous Nations to understand traditional use of a specific area and to define no spray zones such as wildlife areas and riparian zones.
West Fraser also invests on an ongoing basis into research to explore new and innovative ways to manage tall grass areas that compete with regenerating seedlings."
Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette