Whortonsville Residents Leery of Undergrowth Control

Vast Tract of Timberland Sprayed with Herbicide

STRAIGHT ROAD – Monday night, the Pamlico County Commissioners heard from a trio of concerned citizens who fear that recent spraying on land now owned by International Paper (formerly Weyerhaeuser) jeopardizes wildlife, nearby streams, and possibly humanity.

If it will kill the vegetation and stuff under tall pine trees, it will kill us,” said Fran Law. “I moved here in 1990, and our kids could put a string on a chicken bone and catch all kind of crabs. Now the creeks near us are dead. This spraying has got to stop.”

An accepted timber-growing practice is to reduce nuisance vegetation in pine forests, as a way to spur tree growth. In our area, this is usually done by one-man operated mechanized rigs that chew and chomp their way along a forest floor.

Law hinted that forestry mulching is being abandoned because spraying of various herbicides is apparently cheaper and more permanent.

Calls and an email to the corporate headquarters of International Paper were not returned by press time of this newspaper.

After they do the spraying, there is not a green thing left,” concluded Law. “It is just not right.”


Last week, this story on herbicide spraying implied that Weyerhaeuser sold all of its operations to International Paper. That is incorrect. Weyerhaeuser still owns and manages vast holdings of timberland.