Why Vegetation Management Matters

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Members of the community often have questions and concerns when they see vegetation management professionals spraying herbicides in their municipalities near roadsides, railways and powerlines.

Many of these bystanders are concerned about the health and well-being of their community - which is the exact reason why vegetation management programs are being conducted in the first place.

The community needs to understand that your purpose is one of public safety - you are striving to control overgrown vegetation that poses a safety, health, occupational or environmental hazard. If you receive any of the following questions while carrying out your job, please use the following guide to help shape your answers.

Why herbicides and how do they work?

Vegetation is managed in three ways: mechanically (mowing, trimming, cutting); through biological control (introducing pests to control invasive species); and through herbicide application.

Herbicides prevent noxious weeds and fast-growing invasive plants from overtaking native plant species or spreading to adjacent areas, including someone’s property. Effective herbicides control the target plant, including its root system, reducing the population of those plants the following year and helping to provide a long-term solution.


Where vegetation management makes a difference

Power lines: to prevent power outages and clear the area for ease of repair.

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Rail lines: to ensure a clear site of path for drivers and allow workers to make necessary repairs.

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Roadsides: to ensure visibility for drivers, pedestrians and wildlife, and to decrease the risk of collisions.

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Oil and gas sites: to reduce the risk of fire with the removal of combustibles surrounding the site.

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How do herbicides affect the environment?

Herbicides are carefully chosen to selectively target problematic plant species, allowing desirable plants to continue to grow and flourish. Additionally, herbicides target a specific pathway in plants. These target sites do not exist in pollinators, including bees. For this reason, Corteva Agriscience™ herbicides do not have an adverse effect on pollinators, when used according to the product label.

In fact, incorporating herbicides in a long-term integrated vegetation management plan has been shown to increase the biodiversity of plants, birds and wildlife compared to manual cutting only.

Furthermore, all herbicides used in Canada must be registered with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), which is a division of Health Canada.

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Are vegetation management professionals trained?

Of course you are. Inform the concerned community members that you are trained in proper pesticide application, including modern equipment techniques, to minimize any risk to yourself, the environment, wildlife and the public. Also, be sure to tell them you’re always careful to target only problematic vegetation and avoid gardens, flowers and beneficial plants.

Questions? You can find an IVM Expert near you at IVM.Corteva.ca