It is a David and Goliath battle, but small progress has been made in the effort on the Cape and Vineyard to block Eversource from spraying herbicides beneath the power lines.

The town of Brewster won an important round in court last week when a Barnstable superior court judge granted a temporary restraining order, effectively halting the spraying at least until after an adjudicatory hearing is held next month.

But because the other ten Cape and Vineyard towns on the list for spraying this fall are not protected by the injunction, this week the Tisbury selectmen decided to follow the lead of Brewster and its town attorney, and go to court and seek their own temporary restraining order.

Eversource has steadily defended its program as one that is effective and carefully monitored. Maybe so, but as Edgartown conservation agent Jane Varkonda pointed out this week, the program allows the use of some newer herbicides where little information is available about potential long-term effects. More to the point, it should be enough that the towns simply don’t want spraying when there are reasonable alternatives, including mowing and grazing. Even the Hon. Robert Rufo, an associate justice of the superior court who granted Brewster’s injunction last week, noted that mechanical trimming is an option for Eversource.

Today the focus is on Eversource, which in fairness has done an admirable job of reducing power outages on the Island in part by keeping utility lines free of vegetation. But the issue raises broader questions about the use of herbicides on the Vineyard, where there has been a gradual but unmistakable shift in tastes from natural landscapes to manicured lawns.

The Vineyard Conservation Society and Martha’s Vineyard Commission have both raised the flag on the issue. VCS has long been effective as an advocacy group. And the commission has the strength of its enabling legislation that among other things charges it with protecting the Vineyard environment. It would be good to see these two groups press further on this important topic.

Two bills pending on Beacon Hill would give towns the ability to make their own decisions about spraying without going through the laborious process of filing home rule petitions. It’s a sound concept, but the bills appear stalled in committee and we won’t hold our breath for any real help the state legislature.

Meanwhile, whether or not they prevail in court, the Tisbury selectmen are making the right move by putting the issue on the public agenda. And as Brewster town attorney Bruce Taub suggested this week, there is strength in numbers.