Activists Seeking City of Malibu Rodenticide Ban Are 'Recognized' by State Senate
• Volunteers Continue to Prod City Council to Take Action to Prevent Growing Toll on Local Wildlife
BY ANNE SOBLE
The growing ranks of volunteer anti-rodenticide-use activists led by the Malibu Agricultural Society received a certificate of recognition this week from the California State Senate at the direction of Malibu's Senator Fran Pavley.
The state recognition is seen as an affirmation of the broad reach of MAS's educational campaign and may help to bolster the group's efforts to obtain a City of Malibu resolution opposing the use of chemical rodenticides that are increasingly having a devastating effect on wildlife.
The group's ongoing drive to obtain city action, which is largely symbolic in nature, has been undertaken simultaneously with its success at getting local retailers to remove the readily accessible chemicals from store shelves and provide outreach to other communities whose residents share the concerns.
Members of the group met last month with representatives of city staff, city council members, public agency personnel, and others, to explore ways to curb rodenticide use because wild animals for which rodents are a food source are becoming the victims of secondary and tertiary poisoning at an alarming rate.
Research indicates that coyotes and mountain lions—predators critical to a healthy ecosystem balance—are among the most vulnerable species.
Use of chemical rodenticides in the Malibu area assumes increased importance because of the community's proximity to publicly-owned wilderness lands that provide critical animal habitat.
This is why the National Park Service and other public entities support a ban, but their efforts have been fought at every turn by large chemical conglomerates for which chemical rodenticides are important profit-makers.
MAS secretary Kian Schulman acknowledges that state action is necessary for an enforceable ban, but stresses that a Malibu anti-rodenticide resolution would be a high profile boost for the issue.
Schulman added, "The wildlife carnage we are trying to limit goes beyond our own backyard, necessitating a multiple city outreach. A precedent set by Malibu, as a green city, will be most helpful when these cities are approached to do the same."
The rodenticide issue has been before city officials for six months.
No dates have been set for the Malibu City Council to air and take possible action on the request for a formal resolution.