We are well on track to having best management practices for golf courses in all 50 states. This was an ambitious goal a few years ago but it looks like it will happen by the year 2020. This will be a huge advocacy tool for our industry as we work with state regulators to make sensible decisions about water, fertilizer and the pest products we use when needed at our facilities. But this is just the beginning.
We need to have turf professionals getting involved with local environmental, watershed and community planning organizations. That means committing to being at the meetings and having a professional presence in the decision making process within the organizations. We need to be seen by our community as leaders in environmental stewardship and professional business people and that can't happen by not getting involved and simply reading about the decisions these groups make in the media. Many times, this is difficult for a superintendent to do since we have traditionally been a very low-key group that really doesn't like to draw attention. We can't be shy any longer, we need members getting involved or we stand the chance of getting trampled by the ever-growing group of environmental fanatics.
Just look at what's happening with glyphosate right now. Municipalities are banning its use for fear of being carcinogenic. There has never been a single study that indicates that this is the case yet more and more it is being banned for use throughout the country. Take a look around your chemical storage building, if this can happen with one of the safest products we use how long will it be before everything else on the shelf starts to disappear?
Work to complete the Best Management Practices in your state. Create a Facility BMP at your course. Both of these actions are very important, but we all need to get involved with the community organizations responsible for oversight and regulation if we are going to slow down the trend of regulation that will make it even more difficult to perform our duties on a daily basis.