[Market-farming] Railroad ROW, etc.

Keith Morris earthsurfing at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 4 21:41:23 EDT 2011

My understanding (alas- via word of mouth) is that you have the right to have weeds managed differently on your own property- especially where adjoining water sources/ well protection areas/ and organic crops.

I know one grower who brought the crew beer, berries, and fresh baked muffins for a few days before they reached their farm as they worked their way down a giant power line, and discussed her concerns with the crew directly in a neighborly way.

By the time they reached her farm they neatly piled all of the woodchips, some nice poles, and firewood all along her stretch of the line, and managed weeds with propane instead of herbicides along her stretch and the neighbor to each side...



Keith Morris 
Prospect Rock Permaculture 
Design and Education for Ecological Culture
P.O. Box 426  
Jeffersonville, VT 05464 
Keith at ProspectRock.org
(802) 734-1129

"If we do not do the impossible, we shall be faced with the unthinkable."
Murray Bookchin (1921-2006) 


On 11-08-04 10:32 AM, William H Shoemaker wrote:
> Because the railroads are largely governed by federal laws as they conduct
> interstate commerce, municipal laws and ordinances may not prevail. I'd be
> vey pro-active about working with your municipality to engage the state and
> its EPA to negotiate appropriate choice of weed control options in the
> right-of-way. 

I am in Canada, there's no equivalent to interstate commerce.  That
being said, this is a very good question indeed: who's juridiction is
this?  Canadian railroads used to be a federal juridiction, but I am not
sure whether this prevail over municipal bylaws or not.  Guess I will
need to talk to a lawyer (if the spraying actually materialize, that is).

> The railroads and their contractors love to use phenoxy herbicides (2,4-D,
> dicamba and other, more threatening forms) because they are so effective.
> They may also use synergists which enhance herbicide activity. These are
> extremely volatile herbicides which can carry on breezes for miles
> sometimes. Hot conditions make them even more volatile. If they can be
> convinced to use non-volatile herbicides which kill on contact (Rely,
> Gramoxone) in tank-mixes with residuals that prevent germination of new weed
> seeds, they may be able to accomplish their goals without impacting yours.
> But there is no law where there is no enforcement.

Very good information that is.  Thanks, Mr. Shoemaker!  :)


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