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Concerns Over Herbicide Spraying

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners formally, respectfully requests that ANE

Forests of Oregon and landowner Sorn Nymark abate plans for herbicide application in the

South Beaver Creek watershed. Our concerns with this planned chemical application are

many and can be grouped into three primary categories: public health and safety,

environmental protection, and public sentiment.

 Public health and safety – The planned spray sites lie just upstream of the intake for

the Seal Rock Water District, a utility providing water to 5,500 people year-round

and up to 8,000 during peak tourist season. The district’s general manager has said

the spraying will require testing to detect contamination and an immediate

cessation of water collection if contamination is detected, forcing the district to buy

water from a neighboring utility until testing comes back negative for these

dangerous chemicals.

Even then, the first rains of the season will require a new round of testing due to runoff and potentially more shutdowns of collection. Additionally, many residents of the area rely on springs and wells, which are also susceptible to contamination. These residents do not have the option of obtaining a secondary source of water and might not have the resources to pay for testing. CIn both cases, the increased testing and potential purchase of alternative water

supply represents an unfair financial burden to the water district, landowners and

residents – on top of the risk to public health.

 Environmental protection – The proposed spray areas are in close proximity to

sensitive habitat, home to bald eagle, osprey, black bear, beavers and other wildlife.

The watershed is also critical habitat for the Oregon Coast coho salmon, listed as a

threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

 Public sentiment – The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners, as well as state

agencies, have received dozens of comments in adamant opposition to the planned

spraying. And while it was eventually overturned in a circuit court decision upheld

on appeal, county residents in 2017 approved an ordinance banning all aerial

herbicide and pesticide spraying in Lincoln County, making the will of our

constituents, and our obligation to be their voice, clear.

Oregon law makes the decision to spray or not to spray yours. Your ownership of our

precious natural resources also comes with a clear ethical, if not legal, obligation to protect

them. We urge you to seek alternative means to control unwanted vegetation.

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