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Setting a new industry standard with Quality Vegetation Management[TM].

The vegetation management industry has always struggled with an image problem, fueled by misinformed community and news groups that don't fully understand the science of herbicides and the benefits they can provide. We must set a new industry standard and tell the world that we are a professional, environmentally responsible industry that is vital to the productivity of our country. Chuck Anderson, Marketing Manager for the BASF Professional Vegetation Management Group, explains:

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Q: What is Quality Vegetation Management?

Anderson: Quality Vegetation Management[TM] (QVM) has grown beyond its original forestry-only application to become a standard for the entire vegetation management industry. In short, QVM is a set of principles that creates and sustains healthy habitats through professional, ethical and responsible practices.

Q: That sounds good in theory, but how does it work in the real world?

Anderson: There are many things we can do. For example, applicators who are QVM professionals use herbicides that utilize the lowest effective active ingredient whenever possible.

Q: Why the emphasis on what kind of herbicide is used? Aren't they all the same?

Anderson: That's the problem. The public lumps all chemicals together, but QVM solutions are designed to be environmentally responsible. For example, some herbicides target only plant-specific systems--not birds, animals, insects, fish or humans. And utilizing the lowest effective active ingredient allows us to get superior control of unwanted or dangerous vegetation while leaving less of a "footprint" on the environment.

Q: It sounds like a move in the right direction. But why does public perception matter?

Anderson: Public perception drives everything: laws that govern our industry, landowner willingness to use herbicides, even pride in our vocation. The problem is, most people don't realize how important QVM is. For example, the general public doesn't know an overgrown tree was the root cause of the 2003 blackout that affected more than 50 million people in the eastern U.S., or that prior to QVM treatments, saltcedar trees along the Pecos River were stealing 1-1.6 million gallons of water per acre, per year, depressing water tables, destroying native habitat and increasing fire frequencies. We'll certainly do our best to spread the word, within the industry and to the general public.

Q: How will QVM affect the industry?

Anderson: As the QVM message begins to spread, private and corporate landowners, government agencies, wildlife associations, utility customers, communities and others will come to see the many benefits QVM offers and start demanding it. For those who are actively practicing and promoting QVM, this will be an enormous advantage. It will also encourage others to become QVM professionals. In time, the entire industry will adopt QVM as a new standard for vegetation management. After all--for our industry, our communities and the world around us--it's simply the right thing to do.

Chuck Anderson, Marketing Manager, BASF Professional Vegetation Management
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Title Annotation:Chuck Anderson, BASF Professional Vegetation Management Group
Publication:American Forests
Article Type:Advertisement
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2005
Words:473
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