Caltrans has scheduled a public workshop tonight (Nov. 5) about a pilot program to cut back on herbicide spraying along Highway 84.
The workshop will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at La Honda Elementary School, 450 Sears Ranch Road in La Honda. Officials will be there to answer questions and the public will be invited to make written comments.
Caltrans offered to stage a pilot in response to requests from a wide array of local groups, farmers and ranchers, and public officials who have asked Caltrans to stop broadcast spraying herbicides along San Mateo County highways. The pilot program will be on Highway 84 between Skyline Boulevard and the coast.
"We are working to partner with the community and we are aware of the community's environmental concerns," the Caltrans flier about the public workshop says.
According to a community notice about the pilot program, Caltrans will continue broadcast spraying herbicides on the westbound side of Hwy. 84 while using mechanical mowing and other manual weed control, including mulching, on the eastbound side.
While the map shows herbicide spraying for a little less than 14 miles from Portola Road in Woodside to El Corte Madera Road past La Honda, Caltrans spokeswoman Gidget Navarro said Caltrans will not spray within the town limits of Woodside nor at the intersection of Highway 35 and Highway 84.
The flier also shows two stretches of the road, near the community of La Honda and near the water reservoir at the intersection of Skyline Boulevard and Hwy. 84, as "no spray" zones.
Ms. Navarro said Caltrans will also continue to honor residents' "No Spray" signs. She said Caltrans will not spray with 25 feet of driveways in areas where complaints have been received, or within 25 feet of groups of mailboxes or of creeks and waterways.
The flier says the pilot program was developed working with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). "Caltrans must maintain fire breaks. Overgrown vegetation, combustible vegetation, and lack of fire breaks can contribute to increased fire danger," the flier says.
● Earlier story: More groups ask Caltrans to stop spraying herbicides in San Mateo County.