CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Poisoned Future

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Bit of a rant ... Because one of the main reasons I moved to this area of Tenerife is because it's inside a protected, Rural Park, where poisons are were "prohibited".

The sign, for those who don't read Spanish, indicates that the area has been treated with a herbicide, Glitan to control the weeds and, I'd rather they didn't. The tourist blurb says:

"The Teno Rural Park is one of the most beautiful areas on Tenerife. This park, traditionally isolated due to its limited and difficult access, with its mountainous massif in the north-west of Tenerife is of great ecological value, both scenic and cultural: it includes many examples of traditional island architecture. Large areas of laurisilva forest still survive here, a type of rich leafy forest vegetation, and are the home of many species of animals, such as, the Osprey. It is precisely its rich birdlife that has led to its being declared a protected area for birds. ..."

Fountain of YouthThe area is also only just emerging from subsistence farming, but it's becoming more and more abandoned, because young people don't want to get their hands dirty (it's said) and all the rules and regulations make it nearly impossible anyway.

So, with nobody working the land, weeds grow, rats multiply, people poison.

The Teno Rural Park is managed by the Cabildo (Tenerife Island Corporation), who are the same people responsible for the environment and ... for doing things like weed killing, as well as the annual rat control programme.

And each year, their measures seem to get more "unnatural".

Just a couple of years ago, they would they would get out-of-work laborers (and, I think, offenders who'd copped for community service) to clear the weeds at the sides of these lanes and there must be plenty of such people available.

The change in methods, even if this chemical is less toxic than other herbicides and pesticides, seems less like progress and more like a regression to me. Anyway, the sign was taped onto the pipes on top of the horse trough and I understand that this "important tourist attraction" must be kept neat and weed free, but I can only hope this is in no way contaminating the water supply.

It is (or was) untreated, clean water straight from the mountain galleries. This is less than 25 yards up the lane from the bridge to the property where I live and, it means that, despite living in this beautiful rural valley where they ought to be out gallivanting around, my poor cats now have to remain locked indoors. Amongst other reasons, but with ever more frequent and stronger chemical treatments, the cats haven't been out in over a year, which rather defeats the object of deliberately moving to an area because it was ideal for them.

You might tell me to shut up and stop moaning, because getting told at all here is miraculous and, this is better than last year's signs, where the date of the treatment was left BLANK. This year's signs at least looked more like warning signs. Yes, looked, past tense, because the wind and rain had seen them off mostly by the 17th/18th, only 3-4 days into the 10-day "danger" period.

But that's still not what I find incredible / funny / exasperating about this.

What the hell is going on with the date? The treatment date of 14.03.08 (last Friday) has been written on the paper. The notices went up and I took the photo on Thursday, March 13th. Nobody came and sprayed on Friday! :)

More on the Teno Rural Park, in Spanish, aqui, aqui and aqui.

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