Oh, The Irony!

Last Wednesday on the 8th of September, while the Oregon Board of Forestry was meeting and your local neighbors were petitioning them to implement changes in forest policy that would better protect drinking water, a helicopter hired by Stimson Lumber hit a high power line while spraying a mix of industrial strength chemicals to kill native vegetation in one of their clearcuts. Fortunately the pilot walked away without injuries. Because observers are required to be present when this type of operation takes place, the fire that started as a result of the accident was extinguished before it became yet another major wildfire in this season that’s been so burdensome for our firefighters. This operation took place in a watershed that provides Tillamook with some of its drinking water. Imagine if that load of chemicals would have landed in a different place – in that creek that flows into an intake that supplies water to 4000 people. And if you really want to conjure up a nightmare scenario, think of the “what if” when you take into consideration the industrial spray operations that have taken place in this state too close to a school playground. Stimson and the helicopter company apparently chose not to reveal their purpose for being there, because local news outlets tell a story that made the accident appear as if it were all a result of spraying power line access. Well, it wasn’t, and it’s indicative of how fearful these timber companies are of how their reckless practices are being put on notice by communities that just want their access to safe drinking water respected and treated as the legal right that it is. Tell your representatives and your State Forestry Board that you want these harmful practices to stop – NOW!
Jane Anderson
Garibaldi, OR