Pesticide Reform Letter Examples

To: Doug Decker, State Forester [doug.s.decker@state.or.us]

Mr. Decker,

With regard to the questionable action in the spraying of pesticides in the Triangle Lake area:

I want the pesticide spray records made available now. I want you to impose a hefty fine on any timber company that delays handing these records over to the government investigation of the spraying of forests in the Triangle Lake area.

Why hasn’t your agency done this already?

I especially want the Oregon Department of Forestry to make all forestry pesticide spray notifications and spray records available on a public access website immediately, so I can decide for myself if over spraying is occurring. This is a simple and proper thing to do.

I await a reply from you outlining your views on this subject.

Clifford Fountain (Retired Federal employee, 39+ years of Federal service – Oregon, Wash DC, Wisconsin, California)
Eugene OR


(Date)

Doug Decker, State Forester

Dear Mr. Decker,

In spring 2011, the Oregon Board of Forestry worked with staff and members of Beyond Toxics (formerly Oregon Toxics Alliance) and residents of the Triangle Lake area to plan a two-part Pesticide Workshop. Peter Dougherty, ODF staff, was a central coordinator of this effort. The workshops took place on March 10 and April 29, 2011.

The purpose of the workshops was to educate Board of Forestry members on the science of pesticide use in forestry as well as its environmental impacts and human health risks. It was at that meeting the Board learned that high levels of forestry pesticides had been found in the urine of rural Lane County residents.

While a number of ideas were discussed, one key problem and its solution were put on the table.

Oregonians are not notified when an aerial pesticide spray will occur near their homes and drinking water sources. Currently, residents of Oregon are required to pay a minimum of $25 to the Department of Forestry to get a hard copy of a timber spray operation near their property (those with water rights can request notification without the attached fee). After paying the fee, residents are mailed a woefully incomplete notice. Information about actual dates of spray and the pesticide products that will be used are not provided.

You indicated support for converting the Pay-and-Mail system of forestry spray notification to a web-based, public access system at the Board of Forestry meeting on April 29.

A web-based system would save the State of Oregon money (costs of paper printing, postage and staff time to process requests for information). A web-based system would also be more equitable. Every Oregonian has the right-to-know what chemical applications may impact their property.

More than six months have passed and the public has heard nothing more from the State Forester or the Board of Forestry about creating the web-based notification system. Beyond Toxics asks for public accountability and concrete efforts to put this solution in motion.

Sincerely,
Lisa Arkin
Executive Director
Beyond Toxics
Eugene, OR


 

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