Ruhstaller: the hyacinth cavalry is coming

In response to a blog lamenting that government do-nothings are blowing the water hyacinth eradication campaign, Supervisor Larry Ruhstaller called to report he has made substantial efforts.

“We’ve been working on it for about a year now,” said Ruhstaller. “It all started last January when I was at the Stewardship Council and I made a offhand remark, “If we don’t control the invasive weeds, it won’t matter if we build twin tunnels because the whole damn tunnel will be overtaken.”

That led to a contact from Ray Carruthers, head of the invasive weed programs for the USDA in Albany. “We basically put together a program, went to Washington, pitched for funding at the USDA, got $750,000,” Ruhstaller said.

The Department of Boating and Waterways has been feckless, Ruhstaller said, confirming what Stocktonians can see for themselves.

DBW was authorized to spray 5,000 acres of hyacinth. It got around to spraying one-fifth of that, Ruhstaller said. The department so neglected the infestation that Discovery Bay is “ruined,” Ruhstaller said.

Today Ruhstaller says he will meet with Karen Ross, secretary of the state Department of Food and Agriculture, to  “Get her on board so that when I go back to Washington and talk to (USDA) Secretary Thomas Vilsack about maintaining this project s we got started so it will be a forever program.”

Said Ruhstaller, “We’re getting ready for next Spring to basically hit this thing.”

Leadership, at last!

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