Town's Ban on Herbicides in Squibnocket Pond Upheld in Legal Action

A two-year effort by a group of Chilmark landowners to use herbicides to combat phragmites in Squibnocket Pond came to an end this week. The Hon. Gordon H. Piper on Monday vacated his own ruling from last January that had found a Chilmark bylaw banning herbicides on the pond was not valid.

Risky Business of Herbicides

Beyond the monarchs and the milkweed a broad discussion has been unfolding on the Vineyard in recent months and weeks about the use of herbicides.

Chilmark Will Press Case in Supreme Court Over Herbicides Near Pond

Chilmark will go to the state’s highest court to block a group of riparian owners from using herbicideson Squibnocket Pond.

Chilmark Appeals to State Supreme Court in Case Over Use of Herbicides

Six riparian owners want to use herbicides to control phragmites in Squibnocket Pond. The town wants to block them, citing rules that prohibit pesticides around the pond. On advice of counsel, selectmen will ask the Supreme Judicial Court to decide the dispute.

Comment Period Extended on NStar Spraying Program

The state Department of Agricultural Resources will allow comment until Feb. 18 on utility's plan to use herbicides to control vegetation under power lines.

NStar Arborists Defend Vegetation Spraying at Town Meeting

Amidst public scrutiny of NStar’s vegetation management practices, senior arborists from the utility company addressed concerns of Tisbury residents at a meeting on Tuesday of the board of health.

NStar Says Use of Herbicides Is Essential

The power company resumed an herbicide spraying program last month, reigniting a debate about threats to the environment on the Cape and Vineyard.

Not Buying NStar's Promise That Chemical Spraying Is Safe

I have lived on Lake Street in Vineyard Haven for 25 years. A few years ago, I went to pick up my mail at the cluster box under the power lines and saw a crew of workers with chainsaws taking down a lovely grove of small trees that shaded the boxes. I called NStar and was told that they have a mandate from the federal government to keep the rights of way free from vegetation lest something fall on the power lines. Since the power lines are at least 50 feet off the ground, this scenario seemed very unlikely, insofar as the trees were no taller than 12 feet.

Board Backs Ban on Herbicides Around Squibnocket Pond

A group of riparian owners on Squibnocket Pond pressing for permission to use herbicides to control phragmites found no relief from the Chilmark zoning board of appeals this week.

The board of appeals voted unanimously to uphold a cease and desist order that bars the Squibnocket Pond Organization from using the herbicide Rodeo on the invasive plants.

In the Reeds: Venture to Kill Invasive Plants Proceeds Warily

Walking along the shore of Black Point Pond in Chilmark, Richard Johnson of Sheriff's Meadow Foundation is nearly dwarfed by a thick stand of 12-foot high reeds.

Also called phragmites, the reeds are an invasive species that have formed a dense monoculture over what was once an open diverse habitat of native pondshore plants. Dead reeds crunch beneath his boots, covering the ground so virtually nothing else can grow through.