Proposal for Aerial Mosquito Spraying Causes Confusion, Concern in the North Fork

Jun 19, 2013

Ken Nordstrom (left) delivers a proposal for proactive aerial mosquito spraying in western Delta County.
Credit Travis Bubenik, KVNF.

If you called the Delta County Health Department Tuesday afternoon (June 18), you might've heard this message:

"We are not planning to spray the North Fork for mosquitos." 

Ken Nordstrom, Director of Environmental Health for Delta County, set those words as his voicemail message in response to a flurry of calls from North Fork area residents, who initially thought the health department was proposing to carry out aerial insecticide spraying throughout the county.

That wasn't the plan, but an email from Nordstrom, sent to the North Fork Mosquito Abatement District (NFMAD) board, announced that he would be presenting "a proposal for aerial spraying for mosquitos along the river corridor." Lacking any specifics, some at the NFMAD concluded the county might consider spraying in the North Fork, where opposition to the practice from organic farmers remains strong.

At Tuesday's meeting, Nordstrom promptly debunked the rumors and laid out the actual proposal, suggesting the county take "proactive" action against the spread of West Nile Virus by conducting aerial spraying in the county's western portion, along river corridors in the Delta, Orchard City and Cedaredge region.

For now, no action is being taken on the proposal, but Nordstrom has been tasked with coordinating contracting details, arranging finances and speaking with various city officials about the plan. The board will reconsider the proposal at its July meeting.

Proposed area and acreage estimate of Delta County to be sprayed by aerial insecticides.
Credit Delta County Health Department, Delta County Geographic Information Systems Department.