Vallejo suspends herbicide spray program on Mare Island

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- The Mare Island Preserve is intended to be a place of peace and tranquility as managed by Volunteer Preserve Manager Myrna Hayes.

"We have wildlife that's treasured by our community," said Hayes.

Recently while walking her dog, Hayes discovered weeds that were yellow and dying.

"It was just devastation and I almost quite frankly just passed out with horror," said Hayes.

Her initial concern that someone had sprayed the weeds with the controversial herbicide glyphosate. The city says glyphosate was not used, but also admits someone should have communicated with Hayes before any herbicide was sprayed.

"There was very little to no communications with the folks at the preserve," said Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan.

The spraying was part of the city's annual spring weed abatement maintenance to reduce fire hazards and ensure emergency access, roads and driveways are cleared of combustible vegetation.

In light of concerns, the city is now suspending its spray program and considering other options.

"Can we get up there with weed wackers, can we get out there with goats, can we get volunteers together to help with brush clearance," said Mayor Sampayan.

By phone, Vallejo Fire Department's Spokesperson said he supports the decision.

"We believe that's an adequate alternative option to the chemical method of weed abatement," said Kevin Brown, Public Information Officer for the Vallejo Fire Department.

Hayes says the city could do more.

"A true win would be for them to step up to the plate enter into an agreement with us to manage the land and give us a stipend to be able to do this work ourselves," said Hayes.

Hayes and the Mayor plan to meet Wednesday.

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