ROCKAWAY BEACH, OREGON July 26, 2017 – The public forests of Oregon’s North Coast are scheduled to be aerially sprayed sometime before August 31, 2017. Spraying will potentially impact campsites, trails, and watersheds during peak season.
Oregon Department of Forestry (“ODF”) has directed employees to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals being sprayed on clearcuts from July 24th to August 31st. The exact date and time of the application is currently unknown but areas impacted include the Kilchis, Lower Nehalem, Cook Creek, Upper Wilson, and Upper Trask watershed areas. While ODF has directly notified its employees, ODF has failed to sufficiently notify the public of these toxic spray events despite potential impacts on trails, watersheds and campsites during the peak summer season.
Nadia Gardner, a North Coast parent is appalled by the lack of notice, “I spend time with my toddler in the summertime near Cook Creek. We were just swimming there yesterday and had no idea ODF had planned an aerial pesticide spray for the area. The fact that ODF prioritizes killing native species like alder and salmonberry by spraying toxic pesticides from a helicopter over the health and safety of the State Forest users is appalling and unacceptable. Oregonians and our State Forests deserve better.”
Rockaway Beach Citizens for Watershed Protection (“RBCWP”), a citizen group working to ensure that North Coast residents have access to safe drinking water and clean air through education and advocacy, is calling on Governor Kate Brown to order an immediate cease to the toxic sprays on public lands, at a minimum until pubic notification can be guaranteed.
While legal in Oregon, RBCWP believes forest practices of clear cutting and spraying of toxic pesticides after each cut without notifying the public has significant negative impacts on coastal communities; potentially exposing local residents and visitors to known carcinogens, damaging local drinking water, and destroying habitat for fish and other wildlife.
Rockaway Beach Citizens for Watershed Protection is leading a coalition of conservation groups calling on legislators in Salem to reform Oregon’s outdated forest practices laws, the weakest on the West Coast. The coalition insists that until those laws are improved, ODF broadly notify the public through the media anytime they may be exposed to toxic pesticides while recreating in Oregon’s beautiful public lands and parks.
CALL TO ACTION!
Concerned citizens should call:
Governor Kate Brown’s office: 503-378-4582
Oregon Department of Forestry: 503-842-2545
Department of Environmental Quality: 503-229-5696
As a citizens group, we invite all to attend our meetings, educational events, and hikes. Please join us in learning about water and air quality issues that affect all of us at the Oregon Coast.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-355-2516