By Erik Lukens, Oregonian

Lisa Arkin, executive director of Eugene-based Beyond Toxics, visited The Oregonian’s editorial board this afternoon to express concern about legislation supported by Reps. Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader and Greg Walden that would place over 1 million acres of O&C lands in a trust designed to ensure timber production. One problem with this proposal, says Arkin, is that the federal lands would managed under the Oregon Forest Practices Act, which allows for extensive aerial spraying of herbicides.

Arkin’s group believes that the OFPA itself requires inadequate environmental protections. She says Beyond Toxics is working with various other organizations, including the Pacific Rivers Council and the Wild Salmon Center, on a possible push to change the state’s forest act. Among other things, says Arkin, the group believes the state should require larger no-spray buffers near waterways. She says the group is exploring three avenues for change – working with lawmakers, seeking a ballot initiative and filing lawsuits.