This week national environmental leaders in bee protection, including Beyond Toxics, signed on to letters sent to Ace and True Value Hardware stores asking them to act now to protect bees! Our petition is for Ace and True Value to commit to not sell products containing systemic neonicotinoid pesticides harmful to bees, butterflies, birds and other wildlife.
Have you been enjoying watching the furry bumble bees visiting your garden flowers? They seem to be out-and-about, buzzing the blossoms just at dawn, and hanging around for that last nectary drop even as the sun sets.
Cherish them as they flirt with your oregano and lavender. Despite their apparent bounty in your garden, native and wild bee populations are in serious decline, perhaps nearing extinction.
A year ago the editors of the Register Guard urged Oregon legislators to “shine a light on forest sprays.” Our low-wattage legislators did the opposite. Today aerial forest spraying continues unabated.
Communities sprayed with poisons remain in the dark while chemical lobbyists hold sway in the offices and back rooms of our legislature. The response from Oregon’s Legislature? No change to Oregon’s infamously outdated and weak Forest Practices Act.
Over the past year, the issue of exposure to toxic soups of herbicides and other chemicals from aerial helicopter sprays has spurred an outpouring of public indignation! Cases of outright poisoning or suspected harm have been reported in Lane, Curry, Tillamook and Douglas counties.
Beyond Toxics’ idea to ask local governments to ban neonicotinoids started in Eugene with our proposal to the City Council. You remember...Eugene became “America’s Most Bee Friendly City!” in the early part of last year. Then the idea spread to Seattle, Spokane and Sacramento, as well as towns in Alaska, Minnesota and other states.
And today, the big news is that the Portland, Oregon has made good on their promise to Protect Portland’s Pollinators!
On March 12th, Beyond Toxics and our partners in the Oregon Conservation Network hosted the first ever Oregon Legislative Briefing on Herbicides and Health. Over fifty Oregonians came from communities across the state to talk to their legislators about gaps in the Oregon Forest Practices Act that leave homes, schools and drinking water unprotected from pesticide drift, run-off and volatilization.
Today, the announcement was made that the Oregon Legislature will take up a bill to address forestry chemical use.
Two courageous Oregon legislators, and seven other co-sponsors, filed a bill to protect the health of rural Oregonians living near industrial forests and farm land. When I first read the text of SB 613, the Public Health and Water Resources Protection Act, my eyes started to tear up. I thought of the heartbreaking journey that pesticide drift victims have traveled to arrive at this moment.
By now, the whole world knows that seven documented bumble bee kill incidents happened in Oregon during 2013-2014. These bee slaughters were caused by applications of neonicotinoid insecticides.