Court battle brewing over aerial pesticides measure passed in Li - KPTV - FOX 12

Court battle brewing over aerial pesticides measure passed in Lincoln County

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Lincoln County, OR (KPTV) -

A court battle is brewing in Lincoln County over a controversial ballot measure passed by voters that effectively outlaws the spraying of pesticides from the air.

Ballot Measure 21-177 was almost immediately challenged in court after it passed by a narrow margin in the May election.

Opponents are primarily concerned about a provision in the new ordinance that would allow citizens to enforce the law through direct action, if the county fails to do so on their behalf.

"What troubles us is the legacy of violent direct action in other parts of Oregon and across our region," said Alan Fujishin, a blueberry farmer from Siletz who fought to defeat the ballot measure.

Fujishin uses pesticides to protect his crops, but said he does so responsibly.

The primary concern for members of the community opposed to aerial spraying is the possibility of harmful chemicals getting into area waterways like the Siletz River, which is a source of drinking water for nearby communities.

"Here in Lincoln County, it's really about aerial pesticide spraying of clearcuts. Because these clearcuts have 4-6 applications of herbicides from a helicopter," said Rio Davidson, who spearheaded the campaign to pass Ballot Measure 21-177.

A judge has temporarily blocked the "direct action" provision of the new ordinance.

The full legal challenge to the measure is still being litigated.

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