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Oregon’s forests are being poisoned and so are you

Oregon’s forests are being poisoned and so are you

February 10, 2012
By Daryl Jackson

I am a wildlife biologist. Recently I spent six months researching how our native Oregon fish and several species of birds are faring on Oregon Department of Forestry managed lands. I tramped through the forests in an effort to describe populations of critters and their habitat. I also work with my neighbors to protect Williams Creek, a salmon and native trout tributary providing cold, clean water to the Applegate and Rogue.

I observe first-hand the beauty of Oregon’s land, but one of the most tragic scenes I have actually witnessed was standing on a mountaintop, clearcut by machines, bare of the plant communities that provide wildlife habitat, and then looking out to the west to see log-ladened ships exporting our unmilled logs — and jobs — overseas.

The situation is worsened by current forest management practices allowing herbicide sprays to be applied by aircraft, saturating Western Oregon’s public and private forestlands to suppress all vegetation that might compete with the trees grown for timber production. This is harder to see and document, and pesticides attract less attention than the actual physical scarring of the land. I see the forests of Western Oregon are drowning in massive amounts of herbicide spray applied on acre after acre of clearcut land.

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In fact, you can join many others who want to send this message to the governor on Saturday, Feb. 11, when rural residents from Josephine, Jackson, Lane, Lincoln and Benton counties will rally to demand help from the state to protect families from chemical trespass. Josephine and Jackson Counties Rally — meet at Lake Selmac Trout Shelter at 11 a.m. (info at www.PreciousDirt.org or www.BeyondToxics.org) or call 541-465-8860.

Read more:http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120210/OPINION/202100332/-1/NEWSMAP   

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