Debra Fant, Lincoln Co. Community Rights board,
Photos available by request 

NEWPORT, OR – Lincoln County voters passed Measure 21-177, banning aerial pesticide  spraying in the county in May of 2017. Representatives of the timber industry promptly sued  to overturn the ban. The aerial spray of toxic chemicals was halted for 29 months, until  September 2019 when the Circuit Court ruled Measure 21-177 invalid, thereby over-turning  local democracy. Local control of these poisons was deemed pre-empted, or overruled, by the  Oregon Pesticide Control Act, state law which says only the state can regulate pesticide use.  

Lincoln County Community Rights (LCCR), the non-profit organization that placed Measure  21-177 on the ballot, filed an appeal against invalidation of the measure and against the  court’s refusal to rule on the standing of the Siletz River Ecosystem as a living entity with  rights to a voice in the proceedings. The case was heard June 1st, 2021 by the Court of  Appeals, June 22 the decision affirmed the lower court ruling with no comment nor opinion.  

With this decision, the question of the Siletz Ecosystems’ standing is yet to be considered, the  voters’ will is over-turned, and the timber industry is free to continue poisoning Lincoln  County’s air, soil, and water on timber lands. What was and continues to be at stake is  whether state government exists to protect the people’s right to higher standards of safety  for themselves and their environment or to protect industry’s right to poison people and their  world for profit.  

Jan Kenyon, LCCR Board member says “Our group and our allies state-wide will continue to  work to secure local democracy. We are considering filing a Petition for Review to be heard by  the Oregon Supreme Court. We are committed to build a strong community who believes that  local voices are essential voices and local choice is the backbone of balanced governance and  our future.” 

Additional Resources