As Boulder County is working to create a management plan for 18,000 acres of open space, many locals are rallying against the part of the plan that could allow genetically modified plants to be allowed on the land.
Recently hundreds of anti-GMO people gathered at the Boulder County Courthouse to oppose these kinds of crops on the open space. A volunteer advisory panel has been working since February to create a set of recommendations for the management plan that oversees the 18,000 acres. The members of the group – Cropland Policy Advisory Group – span a wide range of farmers (both organic and conventional) and community members. However, the anti-GMO protestors complained that there hasn’t been any time for public comment on the plan on the schedule of twice-monthly meetings.
The anti-GMO crowd packed the hearing room for the county commissioners meeting. The meeting allows 30 minutes of public comments once a month. Only a few were able to speak, but the county commissioners said there would be plenty of time in the future for comment on the subject of GMOs
The draft of the plan is due in October. The Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee and the Food and Agriculture Policy Committee is set to review it.
The recent rally stems from a request made in 2008 by six farmers who lease part of the county-owned land and asked to plant sugar beets there. The sugar beets would require less herbicides and would help the farmers stay competitive, they said. The anti-GMO protesters argue these sugar beets could contaminate nearby organic farms.