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How do you ensure that adjacent lands are not sprayed by accident?

Category: Herbicide Operations

Forest Managers use Geographic Information Systems technology to plan exactly where spraying will occur. These plans must be approved by all regulatory bodies before spraying commences. Pilots and Applicators then use GPS technology to ensure they accurately spray the correct area.

To ensure adjacent lands are not treated, both recognized technology and checks and balances in procedures are employed. Provincial Basemaps created using GIS technology are used to create perimeters for the areas to be treated. Mandatory buffers for private land, watercourses, etc. are built into the perimeter files. The files are then transferred to regulatory authorities for review and are either approved, or modified if concerns arise. Once finalized the files are loaded into the aircraft navigational systems (GPS) that are used to guide the pilot to the site.

As a further step and before commencing applications, the pilot must do a visual inspection of the area (against maps & aerial photos) to ensure there are no apparent discrepancies regarding the location of the area to be treated.