Agriculture, Animal Control and Weights & Measures
525 South Foothill Drive, Yreka, CA 96097
Phone: (530) 841-4025, Fax: (530) 842-6690
Environmental and Natural Resource Protection
Pesticide Use Enforcement & Environmental Monitoring
The Pesticide regulations of California require safe, responsible
handling of pesticides from the time of purchase through transportation,
storage, usage and disposal.
The enforcement of the regulations by this department applies to all
agricultural, non-agricultural and structural usage. This program
provides protection the environment, the public and the employees of the
businesses that handle pesticides. To ensure that the regulations are
being complied with, we must identify the users and sellers, plus we
must track the type, amount and location where the pesticides are being
used. The more toxic pesticides are regulated under the restricted
material permit program. A Notice of Intent (NOI) to apply the more
dangerous pesticides must be given to us at least 24 hours before the
application of the restricted materials. This allows us time to inspect
the proposed site prior to the application so that we can require
additional safety measures as needed.
We also perform audits of all pesticide records associated with licensed
applicators, dealers and advisors to ensure compliance with all legal
requirements. Commercial application equipment is inspected to ensure
safe operating condition. Private application equipment is spot-checked
as necessary. Worker Health and Safety inspections are made, as well as
crop sampling for pesticide residue analysis. Pesticide investigations
are a high priority for us. Whenever we receive a pesticide complaint or
if we discover a problem with the use of a pesticide, we immediately
investigate concerning the environmental impacts and any related
pesticide illness. We respond to pesticide spills and to fires that may
be encompassing pesticide storage areas. Whenever a violation is
discovered during an investigation, appropriate action is taken.
We believe that training and education in the safe use of pesticides are
key factors in eliminating regulatory violations, which benefits
Plant Protection & Quarantine Inspection
This program inspects incoming commodities that may be carrying pests we
do not want here or in California. Our goal is to prevent
non-indigenous, harmful pests from becoming established so that we are
more efficient in using our limited resources. Time after time, we have
learned that prevention is more economical than eradication once an
infestation is established.
The program also promotes a healthy agricultural economy, as
California's crops are kept free of exotic pests. Many states and
countries enforce various quarantines, which would limit our markets if
an exotic pest gets a foothold here in California. This program
facilitates the exportation of our products to many areas of the country
and beyond. Six staff members are trained and certified as USDA-APHIS
Inspectors for issuing Federal Phytosanitary Certificates on commodities
for export. In the past, Siskiyou County agricultural products have been
exported to various countries such as Canada, Mexico, South Korea,
Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Guam, Honduras, Saipan, and Sweden.
This program is our first line of defense against introductions of new
The Pest Detection Program serves as a backup for the pest prevention
and quarantine program. The basis premise for this program is early
detection of any pest infestation that would be detrimental to our
natural resources and environment before it becomes uncontrollable. It
also helps to prevent the need for increased pesticide usage.
This program is comprised of two, separate sub-programs. The roadside
weed control function fulfills six needs:
Reduces cost of road maintenance
Helps prevent wildlife losses
Reduces fire hazards
Reduces harborage for crop-attacking insects and diseases
Helps prevent invasion of cropland by noxious weeds.
The last two items help reduce pesticide usage and possible quarantine
action against a grower's crop.
The second sub-program is Pest Eradication. There are 22 different
noxious weed species under eradication throughout the county. The
majority of the weed species are listed as `A' rated weeds by the state,
and are of limited distribution in the state. There are other weeds
under eradication that are common in part of the county but have limited
distribution in other parts of the county. Examples are `Yellow Star
Thistle' and `Marlahan Mustard’, which are widely spread in Shasta and
Scott Valleys, but of rare occurrence in Butte Valley and Tulelake.
Bio-control is used whenever possible in the vegetation management
programs. We are always looking for less intrusive means to control
Vertebrate Pest Management
The County Agricultural Commissioner is required by law to make rodent
baits available to the public. This department offers for sale four
different types of baits to help control rodent pests such as:
Two species of ground squirrels
Two species of mice.
These rodents cause agricultural/structural damage while also acting as
vectors for various diseases that are transmittable to humans. These
diseases include Bubonic Plague, rabies and Hanta Virus.
Rodent surveys are done on a routine basis in order to alert growers of
a population buildup. Whenever possible, the public and businesses are
advised regarding different types of rodent prevention and control,
rather than relying solely on the use of baits.
Inspections are performed on nursery stock entering Siskiyou County and
nursery stock produced within the county. These inspections help protect
the environment and assure the customer that the plants are free from
certain plant pests and that they meet the standards that are required
for propagative material. Additionally, to protect the buyer and seller,
we must also make sure that the variety or cultivar is accurately
We conduct field inspections of our locally grown nursery stock to
assure the cleanliness and identity of the stock. This allows growers to
ship their products throughout the state, nation and world.
The inspection of various seeds comprises two different protection
areas. The first is designed to protect growers from below standard
seed. Seed must be labeled for percentage of germination, kind of seed,
percentage of hard seed and weed seed. If the seed does not meet some of
these requirements, then there can be:
Increased chemical usage on the crop
Non-acceptability of the crop in the market place
The second area of protection is performed in coordination with the
California Crop Improvement Association. This involves the growing of
seeds for the certified seed program, which is intended to assure the
purchasers of the certified seed that it meets a higher standard of
quality and cleanliness. This program also offers more varietal-type
seed than is typically available with common seed. In this portion of
the seed program, equipment and seed-handling facilities are inspected
to assure that there is no contamination at any point in the process.
The higher quality of seed produces a crop with fewer problems, which
ultimately saves time and money.
Apiary inspections are made for the purpose of guaranteeing the
continued health of the bee industry in California. The general public
may not realize the critical part that bees play to agriculture and the
diverse food supply we enjoy. We have numerous quarantines in place to
protect our bee industry from the importation of out-of-state apiaries.
Inspections are made to verify the health and cleanliness of apiaries.
Apiary owners, by registering with us, are able to receive notice of
pesticide applications within one mile of their bees; therefore,
protective measures can be taken.
Integrated Pest Management
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) helps growers, pest control advisors
and home/garden owners apply various mechanical, biological and chemical
practices in dealing with pest infestations. IPM emphasizes preventive
methods that provide economical, long-term solutions to pest problems
while minimizing hazards to human health and the environment.
The first step in handling the requests for assistance in pest
management is proper identification of the pest or problem. Often,
people feel they have a problem due to the presence of an insect or
weed, but after identification, it is determined that the perceived pest
is actually beneficial and should not be destroyed.
When advising people on ways to mitigate a pest problem, we view the use
of pesticides as a last-resort solution. This department works closely
with the farm advisors in the county, so that the best possible service
can be given without a duplication of effort.