Hearing Held Over Lincoln County's Voter-Approved Aerial Spraying Ban

Oct 9, 2017

Today, a Lincoln County Circuit Court judge listened to opposing sides in a lawsuit over a voter-approved ban on aerial pesticide spraying. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.  

Activists gather outside the Lincoln County Courthouse during today's hearing on Rex Capri and Wakefield Farms vs. Dana W. Jenkins and Lincoln County.
Credit Rio Davidson / Lincoln County Community Rights

Plaintiffs in the case say the ban is overridden by existing Oregon pre-emption laws, and should be nullified. They add the pesticide ban hurts the value of their timber.

Backers of the ban say aerial spraying is harmful to local residents and the environment.  Rio Davidson is with the group, Lincoln County Community Rights. He contests the pre-emption argument.

“Our lawyer is arguing that we have the rights of local community self-government," says Davidson.

"And that we have the right to approve and vote and enact laws that protect the health, safety, and welfare of our community.  And that’s based in the Oregon State Constitution, Article 1, Section 1.” 

Davidson says to his knowledge, timber companies are complying with the ban, which was approved last spring.  What spraying is going on is backpack spraying, which environmentalists say is less apt to drift than that done with planes or helicopters. 

Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge Sheryl Bachart.
Credit Rio Davidson / Lincoln County Community Rights

Judge Sheryl Bachart is expected to issue a ruling by year’s end.  

Copyright 2017, KLCC.