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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

Community Rights Action is a Fundraiser for CRLC!

Originally posted on communityrightslanecounty.org :

This month we’ll be at Falling Sky Delicatessen on Monday, August 21st.

All day long you can present this flyer and CRLC will get 25% of your purchase! Come on over after the Eclipse and celebrate our community, friends and Community Rights work.

Then @6pm we’ll have our Community Rights Action meeting there at Falling Sky! Bring your friends, have some dinner and drinks, and you’ll be helping raise money for a good cause!

The post Community Rights Action is a Fundraiser for CRLC! appeared first on Community Rights Lane County.

Lincoln County: Siletz River Takes Legal Action to Defend Its Rights

Originally posted on communityrightslanecounty.org :

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Maria Sause

[email protected]

541 574 2961; cell 541 961 6385

Newport, Oregon:  This afternoon the Siletz River Ecosystem filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit Rex Capri and Wakefield Farms, LLC v. Dana W. Jenkins and Lincoln County, and Lincoln County Community Rights. This is the third ecosystem in the United States to take legal action to protect its rights, secured in this case by Measure 21-177, which was adopted by Lincoln County voters in the May 2017 election.

The two plaintiffs – Rex Capri of Newport and Wakefield Farms of Eddyville – claim that their “right” to spray toxic pesticides aerially is greater than the right of the people of Lincoln County to protect public health, clean water, and the rights of ecosystems and natural communities not to be poisoned from the air.

Lincoln County Community Rights (LCCR) was granted intervention in the case on July 2, 2017, after the county made it clear that their interest lies merely in getting an opinion from the court and not in actively defending the law adopted by voters in May.

“I have lived in Lincoln County for 43 years in a home surrounded by river and forest. I am part of the ecosystems of Lincoln County,” says Carol Van Strum, advocate for the intervention of the Siletz Ecosystem. “The Declaration of Independence itself asserts that the laws of nature pre-empt human law. Like the Lorax, I speak for the rights of waters and forests and wildlife to challenge human violations of natural law.”

For the first time, the Siletz ecosystem and all Lincoln County natural communities and ecosystems have secured the right to be free from toxic trespass from aerially sprayed pesticides, a right that is essential to ecosystems’ on-going health, function and survival. That right is stated in Section 2(a) of Measure 21-177 or the Freedom from Aerially Sprayed Pesticides Ordinance of Lincoln County.

The Siletz watershed has lost 46% of its forest in the last 16 years. Huge clear-cuts resulting from strip logging abound in the area and have all been aerially sprayed with pesticides multiple times. Barren of vegetation, the steep terrain causes mudslides and pesticide run-off into the river and smaller feeder creeks, posing a high risk of contaminating a major source of drinking water for Lincoln County, and additionally destroying crucial habitat for salmon and steelhead.

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 rights of nature since 2008, and two different legal cases have affirmed that rivers have rights and that human activity violates those rights. Restitution penalties go to restoring the ecosystem.

“Protecting nature’s rights through law came from rural, conservative Pennsylvania”, says Kai Huschke of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, the public interest law firm representing LCCR and the Siletz Ecosystem. “Decades of environmental destruction in Pennsylvania made it a no brainer for folks there to protect what sustains them at the highest level. Today over three dozen communities in the United States, including Lincoln County, have stepped forward to secure nature’s rights.”

Though the lawsuit continues to move forward, there is no indication as to how soon the court will respond to the motion to intervene by the Siletz River Ecosystem.

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/2u9oUB2

 

The post Lincoln County: Siletz River Takes Legal Action to Defend Its Rights appeared first on Community Rights Lane County.

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Measure 21-177 Wins!

Originally posted on lincolncountycommunityrights.org :

 Lincoln County Bans Aerial Pesticide Spraying

Measure 21-177 increases its lead to 61 votes, winning a highly contested election.

Newport, Oregon – A majority of voters who returned to sign unsigned ballots approved Measure 21-177, bringing the total vote to 6994 for the ban versus 6933 against it, making the ban on aerial pesticide spraying in Lincoln County a reality. Thanks to the many people who volunteered and campaigned so valiantly, the vast amounts spent by corporate opponents failed to convince voters that profits are more important than health, safety, and the right to informed consent.

 By this victory, Lincoln County is the first county in the United States to ban aerial spraying of pesticides by the vote of the people. This is not the first time Lincoln County has spoken truth to power and won.

“Back in 1976, folks here put Lincoln County on the map by winning a huge landmark case against the United States government, stopping federal spraying of Agent Orange on our forests and homes and waterways,” said Susan Parker Swift. “Now Lincoln County has done it again. I couldn’t be prouder to share this repeat victory!”

Barbara Davis, co-petitioner of measure 21-177, says our win brought to her mind the following quote by Margaret Mead:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

This election was the first major hurdle Measure 21-177 had to overcome to become a reality. Implementation of the measure, and the obstacles to it that opponents will raise, among them superior “rights” to override the rights of the people, including the people’s right to vote and their constitutional right to safety, are next. Citizens for a Healthy County will continue to meet those challenges, and welcomes all who are willing to join us in the effort.

-Citizens for a Healthy County