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Pesticide Protest

Photo credit Bobbi Lindberg
Photo credit Bobbi Lindberg

The shores of Triangle Lake are surrounded by clearcuts that have been sprayed with toxic pesticides. On Saturday, Feb. 11, almost 100 people came out to the rural community to speak out against this chemical trespass, according to pesticide rally participant Day Owen of the Pitchfork Rebellion.

The rally, which was organized by several organizations including Eugene-based Beyond Toxics and the rural groups Forestland Dwellers and Mothers of Triangle Lake, also included representatives of Occupy Eugene, who pledged to help the group in their fight for environmental justice, Owen says. 

The speakers at the rally shared information about how pesticides cause breast cancer in women, Owen says. He says, “Several dozen people came up to the open mic and shared testimonials of how aerial-sprayed pesticides have harmed them.” 

“Three mothers shared that they had experienced miscarriages that they believe were directly related to the sprays,” he adds.

The residents of Triangle Lake in Lane County’s Coast Range have been fighting the pesticides sprayed by private timber companies such as Weyerhaeuser for decades. 

Owen demanded in his speech that the state of Oregon ban aerial spraying of pesticides next to homes and schools. He says that despite at least five formal complaints to PARC, the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Analytical Response Center, about sprays that took place on April 8 and 19 of 2011, and despite the testing done by a doctor contacted by the residents that showed evidence of pesticides in their urine samples, the state has not investigated the complaints. The complaints were filed almost a year ago, he says.

The current state investigation into pesticide sprays in the area is not retroactive to the April sprays, Owen says. “This is not just a typical pesticide complaint,” he says, “but one with scientific research and proof.”