Photo of forest worker applying chemicals from a truck: because many forests are also multiple use lands, handling of pesticides should also consider human exposure.

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8. Forest Chemicals - continued

To ensure safe use of chemicals, consider the following:

  • Transportation, handling, storage, application and disposal of pesticides, fire retardants, and fertilizers must comply with applicable local, state and federal regulations.
  • Monitor weather conditions such as rain, wind speed, temperature and humidity during application to prevent drift, volatilization, and surface water runoff.
  • Do not apply chemicals in streamside management zones or wetlands.
  • Note that fertilizers and fire retardants contain high amounts of both nitrogen and phosphorus and are easily transported overland and deposited in stream along with the sediment. These compounds can accelerate eutrophication (a process whereby water bodies are choked by overabundant plant life and algae due to higher levels of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus).
  • Oil and fuel for equipment and vehicles must also be carefully handled and disposed. Spills, leaks, empty containers, and filters are potential sources of soil and water contamination if improperly managed.
  • Develop a spill contingency plan which identifies all actions to be taken in the event of a chemical spill including phone numbers for federal, state, and local agencies which must be notified.

Take Self Test

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Section 37 of 38