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Democracy School in Eugene

Originally posted on communityrightslanecounty.org :

Community Rights Lane County along with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund are bringing Democracy School to Eugene!

Lane County residents are threatened with a handful of corporate harms (aerial spraying), and are organizing to stop the toxic poisoning of their community. As part of our work, we are holding CELDF’s Democracy School – a stimulating and illuminating course that teaches residents and activists how to reframe exhausting and often discouraging single issue work (such as opposing fossil fuel extraction/transportation, aerial spraying, GMOs, etc.) in a way that we can confront corporate control and state preemption on a powerful single front: people’s inalienable rights.

WHERE: First United Methodist Church / 1376 Olive St. Eugene

WHEN: Friday, June 2nd, 6:00 – 9:00p.m / Saturday, June 3rd, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m

You Must register for this 2 day event.

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The post Democracy School in Eugene appeared first on Community Rights Lane County.

Action YOU Can Take!

Originally posted on communityrightslanecounty.org :

Do you want to help (and really don’t want to collect signatures), but aren’t sure what to do?

As an organization working towards a better place to live, we feel everyone must work towards that goal in their own way. So while some organizations are…

  • writing more protective laws in the places they live,
  • others are driving to Salem to talk with elected officials,
  • while others are out there standing in front of trucks!

We all do what we can, and we want to help YOU do your part by sharing this Action.

Ultimately we’d like to ban aerial spraying in all of Oregon. Working towards that goal, we’ll write letters of support for the legislative bills being introduced this session. And while we don’t hold our breathe that the legislature will save the day (give the people what they really want), we do want to support the efforts of those that work towards reforming the Forest Practices Act in any way.

Below is information on bills that were introduced. We’ve also provided a sample letter for you to send your elected official in Salem. If you don’t know who that is, find your Oregon legislator.


The Timber Aerial Spray Right to Know bill – SB 892

SB 892 | Summary: Requires filing notice with State Forestry Department of proposed aerial application of pesticide as planned forest management activity on privately owned forestland. | The original bill as introduced->> | -1 amendment->>

Statement of the problem
In Oregon, the law allows corporate timber companies to use helicopters to spray herbicides over their tree farms. Until 2015 Oregon had no protective no-spray buffer zones to protect people and pets on their home property or children at schools. Also, under Oregon law, aerial spray applicators don’t have to provide records of their pesticide use, which leaves agencies and the public unable to monitor the impacts of chemical use in forestry.

After a failure in the legislature, corporate interests interfered and the new rules require only a 60 ft. no-spray zone for homes and school buildings. Truly, this was a disappointing outcome after so much effort, and it is barely a band aid on a major hemorrhage. What’s needed is to ban aerial sprays on timber lands because of the extreme risk to human health, drinking water purity and impacts to wildlife.

The 2015 Legislature also refused to pass a law requiring the Dept. of Forestry to provide timely notification to residents, schools, medical and public facilities prior to aerial pesticide applications on nearby industrial timber land. Oregonians need timely notification, at the very least, to protect their children and pets, recognizing that livestock, gardens and drinking water will still be vulnerable.

SOLUTION
Until Oregon acts to ban aerial sprays, we must ensure the Legislature provides as many protections as possible to people impacted by aerial sprays. Oregon can start helping vulnerable rural families now by passing SB 892!

The Benefits of SB 892

SB 892 fixes two problems:

  • ADVANCED WARNING FOR AERIAL SPRAYS: Rural residents need a warning prior to an aerial spray. A warning will help residents ensure the safety of their family and pets. E-warnings can be issued by the FERNS Notification system, a web-based, centralized database of all forestry operations managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry. The FERNS system can send out e-notifications to anyone requesting timely notification.
  • REPORTING PESTICIDE USE: SB 892 requires a spray applicator to file spray records with the Dept. of Forestry within five days following a spray operation. The proposed rule is necessary because Oregonians have the right to know the extent of herbicide use in our watersheds, habitat lands and communities. Better communication would allow impacted communities and agencies to work collaboratively to minimize risk. Requiring the Spray Record uses existing regulatory infrastructure, such as FERNS and mandatory spray record keeping.

Introduced by Senator Michael Dembrow

 

Legislators who support it:
Chief Sponsors: Senator Michael Dembrow – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1723 | Email
Co-Sponsors: Rep. Paul Holvey – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1408 | Email

 

To be considered by the Senate Committee on  Environment and Natural Resources
Use this email: [email protected]. (Important!)

Also send individual emails to all 5 members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources to urge their strong support for SB 892.

  • Chair: Senator Michael Dembrow – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1723 | Email
  • Vice-Chair: Senator Alan Olsen – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1720 | Email
  • Member: Senator Herman Baertschiger Jr. – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1702 | Email
  • Member: Senator Floyd Prozanski – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1704 | Email
  • Member: Senator Arnie Roblan – Capitol Phone: 503-986-1705 | Email

Don’t forget to also write your own state legislators and urge their support.

Key point: The Oregon Legislature has stalled for too many years to take steps to help rural people get protection from aerial sprays (or give us what we really want- ban spraying). It is unethical for the Legislature to stall any longer.

  • The Oregon Department of Forestry has the technological capacity to send out advanced alerts 1 or 2 days prior to an aerial or ground spray.
  • A timber spray warning is so easy to do = Please just do it!

Sample Letter:

Dear Chair Dembrow and Members of the Senate Environment Committee,

As an Oregon voter, I’m in support of a total ban on aerial herbicide spraying in Lane County and eventually, all of Oregon. Until that day comes, I support the passage of SB 892 because it is will help rural residents have some modicum of protection against being caught outside when there is a nearby aerial spray. With modern technology that our state agencies already have, this is both simple and ethical. Please understand that this bill, while important and necessary, still doesn’t stop the predominant harm caused by aerial spraying. Farmers and their animals who both depend on clean water and soil will still be vulnerable as the sprays happen near them. Please pass SB 892 with a strong recommendation for adoption! This is about the right to private property and not having property trespass. If aerial herbicide spray is as safe as they say, why not alert us and let us know what is being sprayed? No harm – no foul, right? This is just a small step in the right direction. Ultimately, we citizens should be able to say “NO” to toxic practices occurring in our communities and near our homes and schools.

The post Action YOU Can Take! appeared first on Community Rights Lane County.

We the People 2.0 – The Second American rEvolution!

Originally posted on communityrightslanecounty.org :

Oregon Community Rights Network, along with Community Rights Lane County co-sponsor We the People 2.0.

Tuesday March 21stFlorence – City Lights Cinema, dinner @5pm, film @6pm

Thursday March 23rdCottage Grove – Healing Matrix, film @7pm

Friday March 24thEugene – First United Methodist Church, film @7pm.

There are more locations throughout Oregon! Click Here to learn more!

The post We the People 2.0 – The Second American rEvolution! appeared first on Community Rights Lane County.

Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC)

Originally posted on communityrightslanecounty.org :

Community Rights Lane County will be at PIELC again. Find our table in the hallway, we’ll be next to other Community Rights Chapters from around Oregon!

There are two opportunities to learn more about Community Rights. CELDF is showing We the People 2.0 in the EMU Redwood Auditorium at 2:20 – 3:50pm.

Kai Huschke the Pacific Northwest Organizer for CELDF will be conducting a workshop – Growing Democracy with Community Rights in the EMU Room 146: Crater Lake North at 3:30-5:30.

Check HERE to see a list of recommended panels!

The post Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) appeared first on Community Rights Lane County.

Big Oil and Gas Threaten Community Self-Determination with New State Preemption Legislation

Oregon HB 2480 would expressly preempt local governments from any
authority over the transportation or storage of fossil fuels.

Legislation That is Part of a Pattern of States Denying Local Democratic Rights

Wednesday, February 9, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Mary Geddry
[email protected]
541-551-1492

CORVALLIS – HB 2480 was introduced in January by Oregon House Representative Bentz on behalf of Pac/West. The aim of HB 2480, as summarized on the Oregon State Legislature website, is to, “Preempt city, county or other local government from enacting charter provision, ordinance, resolution or other provision regulating expansion of infrastructure for primary purpose of transporting or storing fossil fuels.” The bill currently sits in the House Committee on Energy and Environment.

Pac/West is a corporate public relations and lobbyist firm based in Salem, Oregon. The organization has been assisting in advancing pro-drilling agendas in Colorado over the last four years.  Colorado fracked gas would be transported through the Oregon Pacific Connector pipeline/Jordan Cove export terminal if that fossil fuel project were to be operationalized.

In December 2016, Portland banned any new fossil fuel storage facilities as well as the expansion of existing facilities through a zoning law.

Coos County will be voting on Measure 6-162 in May which would secure a Right to a Sustainable Energy Future that would prohibit unsustainable fossil fuel projects like Jordan Cove. Columbia County is currently circulating an initiative petition to be on the November ballot for a similar rights-based law as Coos County.

Under HB 2480 no communities – city or county – could adopt such laws as Portland, Coos, and Columbia, and the new law would presumably nullify any existing local laws found to be in conflict.

Pattie Gouveia, co-lead on the YES on Measure 6-162 campaign in Coos County, stated, “The transportation, storage, and burning of fossil fuels is absolutely a local issue, whereby the local must be able to assert the greatest authority about what happens in the community. HB 2480 is just another example of the Oregon legislature advancing corporate interests by denying local democratic rights.”

In addition to recent federal executive orders, applauded by the fossil fuel industry, to continue with the build out of the Dakota Access Pipeline and reactivate the Keystone XL Pipeline, the industry has also been moving legislation and litigation to suppress local control in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Colorado in order to advance infrastructure expansion of pipelines, drill wells, and post-drilling waste storage.

“HB 2480 violates not only our right to a healthy climate by accelerating the burning of fossil fuels, but it also violates our right of local self-government. If we, where we live, don’t push for a sustainable energy future, one that doesn’t include fossil fuels and corporate control of energy, who will?”, says Nancy Ward from Columbia County Sustainable Action for a Green Environment.

“GMO seed, annexations, rent control, minimum wage, pesticides are just a few examples of how the state, on behalf of corporations, has commandeered legal authority over our Oregon communities. We have state laws here in Oregon that forbid communities from legislating on any of these issues where it comes to advancing greater health, safety, and welfare protection. HB 2480 is merely the latest on a long list of corporate fed actions by the state to keep communities and the people that live there contained and controlled,” says Dana Allen, board member of the Oregon Community Rights Network.

The Oregon Community Rights Network launched a constitutional amendment effort through Oregonians for Community Rights in 2015 that would secure the right of local community self-government against such preemptive actions of HB 2480.That amendment is currently being blocked for further petition circulation by the state.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

To learn more about the ORCRN please visit www.orcrn.org. Information on Coos County and Columbia County community rights efforts: www.cooscommons.org and https://www.facebook.com/ccsage.org/. More on Oregon’s Right of Local Community Self-Government constitutional amendment: http://oregoncommunityrights.org/amendment/

ABOUT THE ORCRN – OREGON COMMUNITY RIGHTS NETWORK
The ORCRN is a 501(c)(3) made up of community rights activists from various communities in Oregon. The mission of the ORCRN is to support and empower communities to secure local self-determination and and self-governance rights, superior to corporate power, in order to protect fundamental rights, quality of life, the natural environment, public health, and safety.

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