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Today in Lincoln County Court Hearing on October 9th to look at Lincoln County’s measure 21-177 a ban on aerial spraying of pesticides

Originally posted on lincolncountycommunityrights.org :

Today in Lincoln County Court

Hearing on October 9th to look at Lincoln County’s measure 21-177 a ban on aerial spraying of pesticides

October 9, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Maria Sause

[email protected]

541.574.2981 541.961.6385

Rio Davidson

[email protected]
541.9615606

Newport, Oregon: On the morning of October 9th, Judge Sheryl Bachart will hear from parties in the lawsuit Rex Capri and Wakefield Farms, LLC vs. Dana W. Jenkins and Lincoln County, and intervenor-defendants Lincoln County Community Rights. The lawsuit was filed in response to the people’s affirmative vote to ban aerial spraying of pesticides in Lincoln County on May 16, 2017. The ballot measure, Measure 21-177, has been law in Lincoln County since early June, and no documented aerial spraying has occurred since then.

In their original complaint and associated briefs, plaintiffs Rex Capri of Newport and Wakefield Farms LLC of Eddyville claim that the county’s ban on aerial spraying of pesticides is overridden by state preemption laws. If that claim is upheld, it would mean that the authority of corporations to engage in aerial pesticide spraying for profit is held to be superior to the right of the people of Lincoln County to ban such spraying due to its documented harms to public health and the environment.

The most recent evidence of the toxic effect of pesticides came to light a month or so ago when it finally became possible to release an extensive collection of documents, now referred to as the Poison Papers (www.poisonpapers.org). The documents had been stored for several decades by Lincoln County resident Carol Van Strum, a key figure in getting the government to stop aerial pesticide spraying on federal forests in Lincoln County back in the 1980’s.

The plaintiffs claim additionally that the measure should never have been voted on in the first place because the county lacked the authority to even pose the question of an aerial spray ban to the voters of Lincoln County.

“Do we, as a community, have the right to determine to protect ourselves, our children, and our environment from a clear harm like the spraying of pesticides from aircraft into the atmosphere?” asks John Colman-Pinning, long-time Lincoln County resident and activist with intervenor-defendants Lincoln County Community Rights. “We wholeheartedly believe we do have that right and that is what the court must affirm as a legitimate right.”

In defending the authority of Lincoln County voters to enact the ban, Lincoln County Community Rights (LCCR) will be asserting the people’s right of local community self-government. LCCR will argue that, based on their inherent and inalienable right to self-govern, the people of Lincoln County have lawfully enacted local rights to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the County’s residents and environment more stringently than the state is willing to protect them. The voters’ approval of Measure 21-177 also protects the community’s rights to clean air and water. Additionally, LCCR argues that, even under the state’s laws, the ordinance is lawful because local laws are presumed to be valid except where the law conflicts with preemptive statutes. LCCR maintains that the laws can be read to coexist where they seek to achieve different purposes.

“This case gets to the heart of who and what our laws are meant to protect: the people or corporations? Community welfare or corporate profits? Lincoln County Community Rights is standing up to say that the law must recognize the right of the people, not corporations, to decide fundamental issues in the communities where they live.” says Ann Kneeland, attorney for LCCR.

The hearing on the parties’ motions for summary judgment will be heard at 11:00 am on Monday, October 9th, in front of Judge Sheryl Bachart, in Courtroom 300 of the Lincoln County Courthouse in Newport.

ABOUT LINCOLN COUNTY COMMUNITY RIGHTS

Lincoln County Community Rights is a public benefit organization that seeks to educate and empower people to exercise their right of local community self-government in matters that pertain to their fundamental rights, their natural environment, their quality of life, their health and their safety. Given the harms that people and ecosystems suffer from the practice of aerial spraying of industrial forest land with pesticides, the group drafted an ordinance to ban aerial pesticide spraying in Lincoln County, Oregon. Measure 21-177 was adopted by voters in May 2017, making Lincoln County the first county in the United States to ban aerial pesticide spraying through the vote of the people. http://ift.tt/1QBRYoT

Press info

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Natural Resource Economist Ernie Niemi

Originally posted on communityrightslanecounty.org :

Thursday October 19th at 7pm

Eugene Garden Club – parking across the street

 

Ernie Niemi is a scientist and natural resource economist trained at the University of Oregon and Harvard. As President of Natural Resource Economics, Inc., he specializes in economic-impact analysis to understand the economic importance of natural resources. He has been active on numerous advisory boards, including the Citizen’s Task Force for Developing a Strategic Plan for the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, and the Technical Advisory Committee on Land Use and Economic Development for the Oregon Dept. of Land Conservation and Development.

 

The post Natural Resource Economist Ernie Niemi appeared first on Community Rights Lane County.

The Signatures are being Delivered to the County Clerk!

Originally posted on communityrightslanecounty.org :

Join Us!
Friday, Sept. 29th @10am

As we deliver the petitions for certification to the Lane County Elections office at 275 W10th Ave. in Eugene.

Thanks to your hard work, we have collected more than 15,000 signatures calling for a BAN on the aerial spraying of herbicides by timber corporations!

The amendment requires 11,500 signatures of registered Lane County voters, but public support has been so strong the final tally has far exceeded our goal.

WE NEED A BIG TURNOUT

Help us generate press coverage and send a message to corporations that The People Are United! Bring your friends, family, and neighbors, and we will see you there!

The post The Signatures are being Delivered to the County Clerk! appeared first on Community Rights Lane County.

Big Announcement at this month’s CRA!

Originally posted on communityrightslanecounty.org :

 

Thank you to everyone that came out last month after the eclipse. We had lots of fun and enjoyed everyone’s company. You helped us with a very good cause.

We have some great news this month! We’re ready to take the next big step, are you with us? If you’ve been wanting to get involved, this is the time to do it. We hope to see you Monday!

The post Big Announcement at this month’s CRA! appeared first on Community Rights Lane County.

Carol Van Strum

Originally posted on lincolncountycommunityrights.org :

Siletz River to Appear in Court

Hearing on September 11th to determine granting intervention to the Siletz River Ecosystem.

September 6, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts for Lincoln County Community Rights:

Maria Sause                                                            Rio Davidson

[email protected]                                           [email protected]gmail.com

541 574 2961; cell 541 961 6385                           cell 541 961 5606

Newport, Oregon: In the morning of September 11th, Judge Sheryl Backart will hear from proponents of the Siletz River Ecosystem why it should be granted admission into the lawsuit Rex Capri and Wakefield Farms  LLC (Plaintiffs) v. Dana W. Jenkins and Lincoln County (Defendants), and Lincoln County Community Rights (Intervenor-Defendant).

The lawsuit, filed in June by Rex Capri of Newport and Wakefield Farms LLC of Eddyville, claims that voter-approved Measure 21-177 cannot ban aerial spray of pesticides because plaintiffs have more legal rights to continue to spray aerial pesticides than the people do to ban the practice. Measure 21-177 has been law in Lincoln County since early June, as approved by voters on May 16, and since then no documented aerial spraying has occurred.

Pesticides have been documented  as being toxic and harmful to people and the environment for a long time. The most recent evidence of that, and of collusion of the EPA with the pesticide industry to falsify and hide that evidence, came to light when 20 tons of documents stored for close to 40 years in a dusty barn by Lincoln County resident Carol Van Strum, were finally scanned, digitized and made available to the public this last August through the efforts of Carol Van Strum and Peter Von Stackelsburg, her publisher,  with the help of funding from The Center for Media and Democracy.  Carol Van Strum was a key figure in getting the government to stop aerial pesticide spraying on federal forests in Lincoln County back in the 1980´s.   The collection of documents stored in her barn has been made available to the public at – www.poisonpapers.org.  Access to the complete and continually updated documents is available at http://ift.tt/2f40ofh.

 

The Siletz River Ecosystem filed a motion to intervene in July, with Carol Van Strum acting as its advocate. Measure 21-177, Section 3a, establishes the following rights, among others (in Sections 3b and 3c) for ecosystems and natural communities:

Right to be Free from Toxic Trespass. All people of Lincoln County, along with natural communities and ecosystems within the County, possess the right to be free of aerially sprayed pesticides.


The intervention of the Siletz River Ecosystem marks the third ecosystem in the United States to take legal action to protect its rights.

“No other river provides more drinking water to Lincoln Co. residents than the Siletz River watershed,” says Debra Fant of Waldport, registered nurse and supporter of Measure 21-177. Corporations granted ‘personhood’ rights seek to protect their profits; the Siletz River ecosystem’s stake is defending life and well-being including that of humans living downstream. It’s time to give voice for Nature’s Rights to be free of poisons and defended in our courts.”

The Siletz River gorge landscape has changed drastically in the last ten years. The entire Siletz watershed has lost 46% of its forest in the last 16 years. Huge clear-cuts have all been aerially sprayed with pesticides multiple times. The steep terrain, barren of vegetation, leads to mudslides and pesticide run-off into the river and smaller feeder creeks. Steep slopes entail a major risk of contaminating the river and streams during the spray season. The Siletz River is an important source of drinking water for Lincoln County. This area is also a crucial salmon and steel-head habitat.

Over the last year, high courts in New Zealand, India, and Colombia have recognized rights for rivers as a means of creating a higher standard of protection for those ecosystems. In Ecuador, the federal constitution has recognized the rights of nature since 2008, and has held in two different legal cases that rivers have rights which human activity has violated and that restitution goes to restoring the damaged ecosystems.

The hearing on the motion to intervene will be heard at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, September 11th, 2017, in front of Judge Sheryl Backart, in room 300 of the Lincoln County Courthouse in Newport.

ABOUT LINCOLN COUNTY COMMUNITY RIGHTS

Lincoln County Community Rights is a public benefit organization that seeks to educate and empower people to exercise their right of local community self-government in matters that pertain to their fundamental rights, their natural environment, their quality of life, their health and their safety. Given the harms that people and ecosystems suffer from the practice of aerial pesticide spraying of industrial forestland, the group drafted an ordinance to ban aerial pesticide spraying in Lincoln County, Oregon. Measure 21-177 was adopted by voters in May 2017, making Lincoln County the first county in the United States to ban aerial pesticide spraying through the vote of the people. http://ift.tt/1QBRYoT

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All documents filed in this lawsuit are available to the public at http://ift.tt/2gMF41w

Press information and photos are at http://ift.tt/2u9oUB2

 

 

 

A letter from Carol Van Strum.

Standing to be heard

 

 

Fifty-six years ago, Dr. Seuss wrote the parable of the Lorax, who speaks for the trees, trying to save them from an insatiable factory that consumes every tree and poisons the river, air, and soil of a once-verdant forest.

 

A year later, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas eloquently argued for “the conferral of standing upon environmental objects to sue for their own preservation.”  Because corporations, ships, counties, and other inanimate objects have standing — the right to be heard in court — Justice Douglas urged that natural objects such as rivers and lakes should have similar standing.  “The river, for example, is the living symbol of all the life it sustains or nourishes — fish, aquatic insects, water ouzels, otter, fisher, deer, elk, bear and all other animals, including man….The voice of the inanimate object, therefore, should not be stilled.”

 

Neither the Lorax nor Justice Douglas were heeded, and countless ecosystems have since been lost, dooming innumerable species into extinction.

 

Today an inanimate object called Wakefield Farms Company is plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging a voter-approved ordinance banning aerial pesticide spraying in Lincoln County, which specifically provides standing for natural objects threatened by aerially-applied poisons.  On Monday, September 11, the court will decide whether the Siletz River Ecosystem has the same right as a profiteering company to argue for its own preservation.

 

“The sole question,” wrote Justice Douglas in 1972, “is who has standing to be heard?”

 

Lincoln County, with a proud history of landmark environmental victories, has a chance to score another by finally upholding Justice Douglas’s unheeded plea.

 

Carol Van Strum

For Siletz River Ecosystem in Rex Capri, Wakefield Farms LLC v. Dana W. Jenkins, Lincoln County.

7493 E. Five Rivers

Tidewater, Oregon 97390

541-528-7151