Timely Information Regarding Spraying
How Can the Public Receive Timely Information About Upcoming Pesticide Spraying Operations on Neighboring Forestlands?
People have a right to know when these operations are to happen, what chemicals will be used, and, finally, how to sign up for a 24-hour notice.
Currently, most people do not even know that pesticide spraying may be planned to happen near them, where to get more information, or how to get access to a 24-hour notice. There are valid reasons that people should be concerned about potential exposure to these chemicals.
Pesticides can put at risk our health, as well as the health of our wildlife and habitat.
Let's Continue to Advocate to Stop Pesticide Spraying
Recently, a member of North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection (NCCWP) talked with Bryce Rodgers from the Oregon Dept. of Forestry (the Tillamook/Clatsop Counties private-land liaison forester) about notification to the public regarding pesticide spraying.
Currently, the only public information available is through the ODF FERNS (Forest Activity Electronic Reporting and Notification System), but most people do not even know about FERNS. And even for those who are aware of it, FERNS is difficult to use, and it only provides notice of a six-month "window of opportunity" during which, at any time, spraying may take place.
Most people only become aware of a spraying operation when they see or hear a helicopter or smell the pesticide. The Forest Waters Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was recently passed in the Oregon Legislature will provide people within a limited distance of an aerial spraying operation with 24-hours notice.
Next, we need to ask that people who live beyond this limited area of notification also be informed in a timely manner about all upcoming pesticide applications..... both those to be applied aerially and those to be ground-sprayed.
Would you like to help NCCWP track FERNS information? Contact us.
For years, with somewhat limited success, NCCWP has been trying to inform the public about upcoming spraying operations. The problems are:
- We also rely on FERNS,
- Have limited capacity to track all local upcoming spraying events.
- Do not have reliable access to 24-hour notices.
- Have limited ability to inform all the people potentially affected.
Bryce Rodgers, from ODF, and Jacob Hilger, from Stimson Lumber Co., have asked for our input as to how to give residents 24-hours notice before the upcoming Stimson ground-spraying adjacent to Wheeler.
Recently, Mr. Hilger said that if people call him, he will put them on an email list giving them 24-hours notice. This is a good first step; however, most people will not even know about this upcoming spraying.
Who's Responsibility is it to Inform the Public?
It should be the responsibility of the timber companies and ODF to ensure that all the residents of an area learn about upcoming aerial or ground-spraying of pesticides and exactly which chemicals will be applied, and then have access to an informational 24-hour notice.
What ideas do you have so that ODF and Stimson can better inform the public, since In our communities there are many residents and visitors who could be exposed to these toxic chemicals?
Potential Announcement Strategies
Here are a few ideas of ways of announcing upcoming pesticide spraying and how to obtain a 24-notice:
- Work with the City of Wheeler to inform all residents;
- Send postcards to all addresses in Wheeler;
- Place ads in local print and online newspapers;
- Post the information on social media sites;
- Put up flyers around town so visitors also will be informed;
- And maybe the best idea: Set up a phone alert system that can send time-sensitive messages via voice, text, email, or social media.
Please send us your comments and additional ideas
To express your concerns about the planned pesticide spraying adjacent to Wheeler, please call:
Stimson Lumber Company: Jacob Hilger (503) 842-4056
The Oregon Department of Forestry: Bryce Rodgers (503)325-5451 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Governor's Office: Governor Kate Brown (503)378-4582 or send an email. Ask for a 24-hour community-wide notice.
Write a message to Governor Brown and then share it with local news sources, other elected officials, and the appropriate governmental agencies.
Take a look at the North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection website for more information about contacting public officials.
Please see the attached public service announcement and share and post it.