To the Editor and people of Lincoln County, Oregon
Lincoln Co. Community Rights was in circuit court in Newport October 9th as co-defendants in a suit challenging the citizen initiative 21-177 that was passed into law by a majority of voters in the May 2017 election. Judge Sheryl Bachart presided, had reviewed the arguments written by the three attorneys for plaintiff, county and LCCR, and heard verbal arguments during the hearing. At the end of the court session she announced that she would write her findings and decision at some point in the future. Until this is completed, the law passed to ban aerial spraying of biocides in Lincoln County is enacted.
Notifications for Operations/Application for Permit (NOAP) made with Oregon Dept. of Forestry on their on-line (FERNS) site are made for logging or chemical applications to the land. These plans note that site preps of clear cuts and roadside or power line herbicide applications have hired companies who do ground back-pack spraying. Interesting that these companies are mostly out of county labor. This law has given the land in Lincoln County a reprieve from intensive applications of toxic “cocktails” of chemicals sprayed from a helicopter.
The water running off clear-cut hillsides as the winter rains ramp up are likely carrying far less chemical load along with top soil than in years past. That’s something I am grateful for and wonder if spawning salmon have an improved chance of their young making it from fertilization to being robust enough to make the down stream trip to the ocean? How has our city water quality benefitted from this reprieve in aerial application of toxic chemicals?
Judge Bachart has an opportunity to be on the cutting edge of law in a time when courts all over the planet are being presented with human beings speaking up for the inherent and inalienable rights not just for people – or even “some” people, but ALL people. They are filing suits as we did to speak for all living beings who join people as part of nature’s balanced ecosystems.
Our judge undoubtedly faces challenges as she deliberates and weighs the value of human rights language written into our federal and state constitutions. How does one evaluate the value on setting higher standards for safety of water, soil, air and food sources than what is written into State or Federal regulations? What pressure is she under from business interests? Is she reminded to keep the people repressed and discouraged by ignoring our stated constitutional rights in hopes we’ll forget it and go back to sleep?
This current system of law was created to put the value of commerce above that of human beings or non-human life. It was written by those who will benefit in profits by legislating that the public has no right to question or challenge the wisdom of regulations that make it legal to cause harm, to poison, degrade soil, foul the waters, destabilize the earth.
How short sighted is it to value money and power without concern or understanding the inherent value of health, nourishing food, clean water and air, and fertility of soil from diversity of organisms that balances the natural systems?
May Judge Bachart act with clarity as a visionary, a courageous change agent who recognizes that it is the health and well being of our earth that enables her children and grandchildren and ours, to live and thrive in the coming decades. May she be part of challenging our system of governance and law to course correct where humans have made far reaching decisions that are unconstitutional and harmful the earth, to many people and benefit the few.
Debra Kauffman Fant, Waldport, OR
The foregoing statement does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NewsLincolnCounty.com, its management or its advertisers. The opinions and view expressed are strictly those of the author. Those who agree, disagree or partially both are cordially invited to send their comments to News Lincoln County at email: News@NewsLincolnCounty.com