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 Oregonians for Food and Shelter Legislative Update 3/6/09
We have a lot of information for you this week.  As you will view here, WEEK 8 saw a substantial increase in activity over last week.  We expect this trend to continue for the next several weeks.
 
The budget debate and where and when to spend money is the real dilemma.
 
We welcome your feedback.
 
Enjoy your weekend!
 
Terry Witt & Paulette Pyle
PESTICIDE USE REPORTING (PURS)
House Bill 2999 - Click Here to see the text of the bill.
 
The bill by Representative Brian Clem (D-Salem) finally hit the Speaker's Desk on 3/5 and should be sent to Chair Clem's House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Communities Committee.   The bill extends the current 12/31/2009 sunset to 1/2/2016 similar to the Department's SB-184.   In addition it amends the reporting location "for pesticide use that is not within an urban area" from the identifying third-level hydrologic unit (water basin) to the identifying fourth-level hydrologic unit (watershed).  In his discussions with Senator Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland), Chair of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee, Clem said the Senator agreed not to hear SB-184, but to wait for HB-2999 to pass in the House and then be sent to her committee.   OFS supports HB-2999 and greatly appreciates Rep. Clem's leadership and Senator Dingfelder's promised cooperation.    
LEGISLATORS INTRODUCE TWO RESOLUTIONS TO SUPPORT WOPR 
At the start of the session the Legislature devoted time to highlighting the Bureau of Land Management's Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR)  adopted by the U. S. Interior Department on January 30, 2008 - a process that took over 5 years to complete.

The WOPR will guide the management of about 2.6 million acres of public forest land with the capability of producing over 1 billion board feet of timber annually on a sustainable basis.  The WOPR preferred alternative would allow forest harvesting 502 million board feet each year and an increase of 1,200 jobs annually.

 Senate Joint Resolution 24   Directs Emergency Board to make certain budget and expenditures limit adjustments within legislative branch as necessary for support of legal proceeding, if undertaken to ensure or facilitate implementation of forest resource management plans adopted by Bureau of Land Management under Western Oregon Plan Revisions.  Also authorizes the appropriation of funds for support legal proceedings regarding WOPR if needed.    We encourage you to link to the bill and thank the listed sponsor legislators: Click Here
 
House Resolution 3   Expresses approval and support of forest resource management plans developed under WOPR.  It also urges Governor to take steps to support, ensure and facilitate speedy implementation of WOPR.   Again we encourage you to link to the bill and thank your legislators if they are among sponsors:   Click Here
INVASIVE SPECIES
 There are currently nine bills dealing with some aspect of the invasive species issue.   OFS strongly supports a significant increase in both regulation and funding to prevent the introduction of new invaders, eradicate detected localized infestations and control established invaders causing economic or environmental harm.   Director Terry Witt has testified in support of nearly all the bills that have had a hearing to date.   While the level of interest is very high among legislators and all of the State agencies, any of these bills with even a modest fiscal impact will likely have a very rough road to final passage and adoption.  
 
Senate Bill 629 Click Here to see text of the Bill would establish a fund within ODA specifically for grants to assist counties in carrying out weed control district duties and functions, including aggressive measures to control the spread of noxious weeds.  The bill seeks $1,584,000 for the fund and limits grants to qualifying counties to a maximum of $20,000/year.   The bill was referred to the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee, then to Ways and Means. 
It is scheduled for a Public Hearing on March 10 at 3:00 p.m in HR-C.
 
House Bill 2212
Click Here to see text of the Bill revises quarantine authority of ODA regarding shipment of articles and broadens statutes regarding regulation of plant pests from tansy ragwort to all noxious weeds.  Declares plant pests to be a public nuisance and makes violation a civil penalty.   Referred to House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Communities Committee on 1/20.   No hearing held or scheduled to date. 

House Bill 2213 - Click Here to see text of the Bill places the Oregon Invasive Species Council within ODA and allows them to be the fiscal agent to receive grant money.  Passed the House 58-0 on 2/17 and is now in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee.   No hearing is currently scheduled. 

House Bill 2714 Click Here to see text of Bill creates the "Shipping Transport of Aquatic Species Task Force" to assist the DEQ in the study and recommendations to combat the introduction of aquatic non-indigenous species associated with shipping-related transport into the waters of the state, such as in ballast waters.   In House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Communities Committee.   Last hearing held on 3/5. 

House Bill 2220 - Click Here to see text of Bill authorizes State Police to stop persons transporting a recreational or commercial watercraft through Oregon for inspection and removal (cleaning) of aquatic invasive species.   In House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Communities Committee.   Last hearing held on 3/3.  
 
 
House Bill 2221 -  Click Here for text of Bill outlaws the sale or purchase of hunts for feral swine, with a civil penalty of up to $1,000.   The bill does not limit or restrict in any way a person's right to hunt or kill feral pigs - which can be done without license.  Feral or wild pigs are a big problem when left to multiply in the wild, killing desirable wildlife and destroying habitat, crops and riparian area.  The only opposition to the bill seems to be the U.S. Humane Society - surprise, surprise!   In House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Communities Committee.    Last hearing held on 3/3. 
 
House Bill 2424 - Click Here for text of Bill expands the Adopt-a-Highway program currently only picking up litter to also authorize the removal of noxious weeds.   Many thanks to citizen Brenda Pace from the Deschutes County Weed Advisory Board for her tenacity to get this bill introduced.   In House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Communities Committee.   Last hearing held on 3/3. 
 
House Bill 2583 Click Here for text of Bill prohibits launching of a boat into waters of the state if the boat or trailer has any visible aquatic species detrimental to wildlife of the state.   In House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Communities Committee.   Last hearing held on 3/3. 
 
House Bill 2984 - Click Here for text of Bill requires any person transporting a recreational or commercial watercraft through Oregon to stop at checkpoint looking for aquatic invasive species.   If any are found the person must properly decontaminate.    In House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Communities Committee.
WAYS & MEANS SUBCOMMITTEE ADDRESSES ODA BUDGETS - SB 5502 & SB 5503:
Katie FastThe Natural Resources subcommittee of Ways & Means is Co-Chaired by Representative Bob Jenson (R-Pendleton) and Senator Vicki Walker (D-Eugene).   The other members include:  Senators David Nelson (R-Pendleton) and Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland);  and Representatives Jim Thompson (R-Dallas); Ben Cannon (D-Portland); Chris Edwards (D-Eugene); and Brian Clem (D-Salem).
  
Many coalition meetings were held to determine program and budget priorities given today's grim economic outlook.    Looking into the crystal ball, the near future is not likely to improve much.   With these factors in mind, the coalition set about communicating our natural resource priorities to the subcommittee.
 
We, in the coalition, thank Katie Fast, Governmental Affairs Director of the Oregon Farm Bureau, for taking the leadership in organizing our coalition meetings.  She also did a stellar job of testifying before the sub-committee on the coalition's behalf.   Katie represented eleven organizations:  Oregonians for Food and Shelter; Oregon Dairy Farmers Assn.;  Oregon Seed Council;  Oregon Assn. of Nurseries; Oregon Forest Industries Council;   NW Food Processors Assn.;  Oregon Cattlemen's Assn.;  Oregon Small Woodlands Assn.;  Oregon Wheat Growers League;  Threemile Canyon Farms;  and the Agricultural Cooperative Council of Oregon.

Currently the legislature is taking testimony and comment on the Governor's recommendations that take into account the rebalanced 2007-09 budget while also factoring in the additional drop in state general fund dollars forecasted since the Governor presented his original proposed budget for 2009-11.    Also note that ending balance dollars in agency funds are being "swept" or swiped as some call it into the General Fund for yet-to-be-determined purposes.   While some legislators are talking about increasing fees, we made it clear that until we are certain that fees will be used for their intended purpose, OFS will OPPOSE future pesticide fee increases.   The numbers presented are currently proposed cuts and transfers of dollars.
 
Three general comments were made as a preamble to discussing budget details.   First, that Oregon's Natural Resource businesses are the backbone of Oregon's economy.   Second, Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) service and regulatory programs are essential to our industries' success in maintaining a competitive advantage.   And third, that there is unanimous support and appreciation for the outstanding job Director Coba and her entire staff do in working with Oregon growers.  
 
 
Our coalition adopted a series of principles to guide the legislature in their budgetary decisions for 2009-11:
  1. Newly added programs and positions should be cut first before cutting long-term, core programs.
  2. Measure 66 funds should be utilized to the maximum extent possible.
  3. Ending balances from funds that are fee supported should not be "swept" or used to backfill other programs.
  4. ODA's significant cuts and fund sweeps in the 2007-09 rebalance must be considered in the 2009-11 budget development.
When analyzing the specific details of the 2009-11 budget, the Agency's "Department-wide Priorities" sheet and the Governor's Recommended Budget were used as the base documents.  The following represents the coalition's positions and priorities:

Food Safety -  We oppose any additional cuts to the program.  The Governor's proposed ending fund transfer into the 2009-11 budget was instead used to rebalance the 07-09 budget.   Any additional cuts will jeopardize the integrity of the food safety program.   The rebalance transfer moves the program from 60% fee based to 85%.   Continuation of the fund shift will force an additional fee increase on users sooner and potentially yet this session.  Additionally, there are needs in ODA's analytical laboratory for $600,000 of new equipment which our coalition supports.  This would have been paid for with food safety fees.  This expenditure will not be possible as a result of the proposed funding shift.
 
 
Insect Pest Prevention and Management
- We oppose the proposed reduction of $68,109.  This program sets and monitors traps.  This program has been essential in detecting the need for recent control efforts for Japanese beetle and Gypsy moth in urban areas.   The program emphasizes prevention is a key piece in Oregon's fight against invasive species.
 
 
Natural Resource Division
- This division works with the industry on agriculture's water quality efforts such as CAFO.  Oregon's CAFO program exceeds the federal standards and general fund contribution is important to maintaining the program.  Additionally, we expressed our concerns about the proposed cuts of $357,789 to the agriculture water quality program,  a.k.a. "1010 Plans."
 
 
Invasive Species
- We objected to the proposed cutting of $72,857 which will slice ODA's ability to prevent, reduce and eliminate invasive species in Oregon.
 
 
Pesticides
- We believe eliminating the homeowner outreach education program ($143,319 general fund dollars) would be a mistake. The general fund portion of Pesticide Use Reporting System (PURS) is proposed to be eliminated for 2009-11, which would put the program on hold.   We believe a better use of the resources from the registration fees is to increase funding to the Pesticide Analytical Response Center (PARC) and to provide two new outreach/investigative positions in the Pesticide Division.  Unfortunately $750,000 of user and registrant fees were swept from the Pesticide Division into the General Fund for who knows what!   We were a resolute "no" when asked if we would be willing to ask users and registrants to increase fees in the near term.
 
 
Animal Health/Identification (AHID)
- We are very concerned that the fund shift from general fund to fees will force fees to increase sooner than anticipated.   

Plant Division - We opposed the $446,064 reduction in lottery funds to the weed grant program.  These dollars are important for local weed control efforts.  There is a large demand and need in Oregon for these grant funds.  This past biennium, there was nearly a $2 million gap between dollars requested and funds granted.   Due to the importance of these grants, if lottery funds are cut to the Department, we recommended cutting the $277,392 of lottery funds in the Plant Conservation Biology program.
 
 
Predator Control
- Wildlife Services is an important cost-share program between federal, state, county and private partners.  These funds are used to control predatory and nuisance animals that damage crops and timber, kill livestock and harass or injure urban homeowners or their property.  We oppose the proposed $335,009 (33%) cut in this program.    When this cut is coupled with the proposed 75% cut by Oregon Fish & Wildlife, predator control and other provided services will suffer greatly as the counties will not be able to pick up the lost revenue.   Thanks to Dave Williams, USDA APHIS, Wildlife Services for trying very hard to keep the predator control issue on the front burner and functional. 
 
Katy CobaAs previously noted, sincere acknowledgements were paid to Director Katy Coba and her staff -- particularly Deputy Director Lisa Hanson who also handles lobbying duties and Lauren Henderson who does all the number crunching for anyone who asks.  Ms. Coba is recognized as one of the most, if not the most, effective State agency Director who makes the most of a very stingy budget.   OFS staff certainly appreciates the whole Department, particularly Chris Kirby and Janet Fults in the Pesticide Division, and Sherry Kudna in Katy's office.  Even when we have difficult circumstances from time-to-time the ODA staff is always available to help or answer our questions -- and ready, willing and able to work with us to find solutions. 
ALERT!

 
PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATOR TO REQUEST A "NO" VOTE ON SB-382 - A BILL THAT, IF PASSED, WILL VIOLATE FEDERAL LAW.

NOTE: A hearing has been scheduled on SB-382 for Monday, March 16, 2009 in Hearing Room B at 3:00 p.m. in the Senate Committee on Commerce and Workforce Development.  If you are willing to testify, please contact Paulette Pyle at 503-559-1279.
 
In the 2007 session, the Northwest Log Truckers Cooperative and the Machinists Union introduced HB 2947 and HB 3561 which would have authorized the state, through the Labor Commissioner, to set and regulate log hauling rates for contract log haulers.  Back then, only a few legislators were supportive of authorizing the State to set motor carrier rates when there were clear legal barriers in federal law.  Only one hearing was held and both bills failed.
 
The unions are now back, with renewed vigor and clout within the prevailing party, to support SB 382 in the 2009 legislature.   Like the bills before it, SB 382 will fail to clear the federal anti-trust test or the federal preemption of setting trucking rates if passed.  The unions and coop members will point to the voluntary nature of the bill, but it won't be voluntary.
 
The issue of individual states setting motor carrier hauling rates for freight was settled with federal deregulation of trucking many years ago.   Motor carrier rates are no longer set by regulation. This means states are also prohibited from setting log hauling rates.  Log haulers are motor carriers.  The Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act prohibits states from regulating rates charged by motor carriers
 
Federal anti-trust law (Sherman Antitrust Act) also prevents states from restraining trade or limiting competition.  The Act does grant limited immunity from anti-trust laws for agricultural growers only, not for log haulers.
 
Natural resource law experts are convinced that should Senate Bill 382 be passed into law, it would most assuredly fail to clear the federal anti-trust hurdle and the federal preemption on rate setting.   Unfortunately, for that to happen someone would have to challenge the State of Oregon in court - a challenge that would require considerable $$$$ that the natural resource business community presently does not have.
 
Certainly, there is no need to remind our legislators and the unions pushing SB 382 that we are in the midst of a downward spiraling recession.  It is a recession, verging on depression, with a clenched-fist-grip on the entire country, especially hard-hitting on the timber businesses and rural communities in Oregon, with no end in sight.
 
The fact is there are too many contract log haulers chasing too few logs.  This unfortunate situation started when the federal government got out of the timber business.  It might be hard to remember, but at one time Oregon's federal forests alone produced three to four Billion board feet a year.  And while the supply side has shriveled up, the housing market and demand side for timber products has fallen off even worse.   We all believe that a healthy independent contract log trucking sector is important to forestland owners.  We also are sympathetic to current economic conditions affecting the entire forest products sector from fallers to haulers, to saw mill operators and construction workers. That, however, does not warrant passing a bad State law that violates key interstate commerce laws.
 
Please join OFS along with the Oregon Forest Industries Council (OFIC), Associated Oregon Loggers (AOL), Oregon Farm Bureau (OFBF) and the Oregon Wheat Growers League (OWGL) in continued opposition to SB-382.   And we will oppose any bill in the future that seeks to side-step federal law prohibiting states from setting motor carrier rates, or that limit or restrict normal market mechanisms that allow open competition among independent contract log haulers.
 
To contact YOUR Senator, click on "Contact Your Legislator" - in the upper right hand column, the first of our "Quick Links".

 
 
Karl Scronce Chosen as President of National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG)
Karl Scronce
Congratulations to OFS Board member, Karl Scronce!  Karl served as our Board Chairman in 2007.
 
On February 28, 2009, Karl Scronce, a wheat producer from Klamath Falls, Oregon, was elected president of the National Association of Wheat Growers at the organization's Board of Directors meeting.

Scronce is a third-generation farmer who has served on NAWG's Environmental and Budget Committees and in a variety of capacities with the Oregon Wheat Growers League, including as OWGL's president in 2004. In addition to being a NAWG officer, he currently serves on the BNSF Ag Rail Advisory Council, the Klamath County Natural Resource Advisory Committee and on the board of Oregonians for Food and Shelter. He holds a degree in agricultural business management from Oregon State University.

Other members of the 2009 NAWG officer corps elected were:
 Jerry McReynolds, Woodston, Kan., first vice president;
 Wayne Hurst, Burley, Idaho, second vice president;
 Erik Younggren, Hallock, Minn., secretary-treasurer; and
 David Cleavinger, Wildorado, Texas, immediate past president.

NAWG officers typically "run the chairs" for five years after being selected as secretary-treasurer, though they all must be interviewed and recommended by the NAWG Nominating Committee and approved by the NAWG Board of Directors on an annual basis.
 
The NAWG Board meeting was held at the end of the 2009 Commodity Classic, held at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas. For more about 2009 Classic activities, please visit www.wheatworld.org/news

To read more about the new officer corps, please visit www.wheatworld.org/bios
Greens Hope Obama Derails BLM Logging 
Conservationists hope that President Barack Obama's new direction on the Endangered Species Act will derail the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's plans to increase logging in Western Oregon.
 
Obama announced Tuesday that rather than follow rules adopted by the Bush administration giving them discretion, federal agencies should go ahead and consult with federal biologists when a project might harm endangered species.

The BLM logging plan adopted at the end of December was the Bush administration's last big effort to boost logging in the Northwest to increase timber supplies for mills and federal payments for timber-dependent counties, which get a 50-percent share of revenues from what are known as O&C Lands managed by BLM.

It covers 2.6 million acres of Western Oregon and calls for logging 510 million board feet a year, five times what BLM sold last year, but about half what was logged before the Northwest Forest Plan cut logging in 1994 to protect habitat for spotted owls, salmon and other species.
 
To read the entire Oregonian article Click Here
Comments on Draft Persistent Pollutants Sought by 3/27/09
This list of 175 is an attempt by DEQ to identify priority pollutants with "documented" affects on human health, wildlife and aquatic habitat from more than 2,100 pollutants. The draft list, organized by chemical class and persistence, is available on DEQ's Website  http://www.deq.state.or.us/wq/SB737   A draft scientific report describing DEQ's development of the list is available on the Web site as well.

DEQ compiled the list of 175 pollutants with the help of a science workgroup and is holding information sessions throughout the state to get comments on the list.  Based on input and other information it receives, DEQ will revise the list over the next several months before finalizing and presenting it to the Oregon Legislature by June 1, 2009. The DEQ final report will also list opportunities to reduce their discharge to water.    This action stems from Senate Bill 737 passed in 2007.

The draft list includes pesticides (70 including degradates), industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, flame retardants, PCBs and metals.   The list of pesticides also includes several "legacy" products (i.e. DDT, chlordane, diedrin, heptachlor, etc.) that are now banned or no longer legal to use but still can be found in the environment.

As a first step in narrowing the draft list of toxic pollutants, DEQ is holding information sessions throughout the state.
 
DEQ will accept written and verbal comments at each session.
     North Bend, Tuesday, March 10, 5:30 to 8 p.m., North Bend Library, large meeting room, 1800 Sherman Avenue
 
     Klamath Falls, Wednesday, March 11, 5:30 to 8 p.m., Klamath County Courthouse, Commission Hearing Room, 305 Main Street
 
     Portland, Thursday, March 19, 5:30 to 8 p.m., DEQ Headquarters, 811 SW Sixth Ave., Room EQC-A (10th floor), at corner of SW Sixth Avenue and Yamhill Street. This meeting will also be accessible via conference call [call-in number: 877-214-5010, participant number 898168].
DEQ is accepting comments on the draft list of persistent, priority pollutants through 5 p.m. Friday, March 27.  DEQ is particularly seeking comments based on scientific and technical information and views.   Comments may be mailed to Project Manager Cheryl Grabham, Oregon DEQ, 811 SW Sixth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204. They may also be e-mailed to p3@deq.state.or.us or faxed to Cheryl Grabham at (503) 229-6037.
 
Former Oregon Senator to Work for D.C. Law Firm 
Gordon SmithTuesday, March 3, 2009
JEFF MAPES, The Oregonian Staff
 
Former Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith said Monday he will be going to work at one of Washington's most powerful law firms, a move that appears to diminish the odds that he will try to make a political comeback in 2010.

Smith, who was defeated by Democrat Jeff Merkley last November after serving two terms in the Senate, said he will work for Covington & Burling and focus on international trade and foreign relations.

While Smith is barred from lobbying his former colleagues for two years, he will be able to offer strategic advice to clients on how to draft legislation and gain the support of members.

To read the entire article Click Here 

###

Prior to the announcement to accept this position, Gordon Smith granted an interview with a local reporter.  For the February 25, 2009 interview with Gordon Smith by Kathy Aney at the East Oregonian in Pendleton,  Click Here
NEW STUDY REPORTS PESTICIDE SYNERGY IN SALMON
According to an AP news story, scientists from the NOAA Fisheries Service and Washington State University found that significant synergy occurred with some pesticide combinations, which means that a mix of these pesticides had a greater affect on salmon than the sum of the individual pesticides.   The study looked at five common pesticides: diazinon, malathion, chlorpyrifos, carbaryl and carbofuran, all of which were reported to suppress an enzyme necessary for proper function nervous systems of salmon at a certain doses. 

The authors concluded their findings suggest that the current practice of testing pesticides - one at a time to see how much is needed to kill a fish - fails to show the true risks, especially for fish protected by the Endangered Species Act.   The study was published in the March 2, 2009 Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives.

Jeff Jenkins, professor of environmental and molecular toxicology at Oregon State University, was not part of the study.  He said it appeared to be well done, but it would take more research to push the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to change its pesticide testing standards as they relate to fish, which are defined by law.    OFS does not know to what extent the study was peer-reviewed before publication or if registrants of products using these active ingredients have seen the study.     

Last year, NOAA Fisheries issued biological opinions under the Endangered Species Act stating that the use of diazinon, malathion and chlorpyrifos jeopardize the survival of Pacific salmon species listed as threatened or endangered in the Northwest.   Many of their findings and opinions have been challenged as unsupportable by science.    NOAA Fisheries and EPA are doing evaluations on 37 pesticides by 2012 as a result of a series of lawsuits launched by Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) and others environmental groups.  
Gypsy Moth Eradication Planned for South Eugene this Spring 
Gypsy Moth
The trapping of seven Gypsy moths in the Eugene area has triggered the ODA to take an eradication action on about 600 acres this spring to attack this potentially devastating pest before it becomes a pandemic problem in Oregon.    The larva or caterpillar is the damaging stage as it eats the leaves of deciduous trees and needles of conifers.   They are voracious little "eating machines."   For example, one Gypsy moth larvae can consume as much as one square foot of leaves per day.   When populations reach outbreak proportions, the caterpillars can completely defoliate host trees over a wide geographic area.  Consistent or repeated defoliation over several years can have devastating effects, often leading to the eventual death of the tree.   Although this pest prefers hardwoods, it will consume over 100 different trees and shrubs, threatening all vegetation in its wake -- forestry, nursery, orchards, farmers, home ornamentals and even wilderness areas. 
 
 
A bad example of what can happen if this infestation is allowed to grow can be seen in the small state of New Jersey.   In 2006 the Gypsy moth defoliated 125,743 acres of forest.   One year later (even with a spray operation) the defoliation grew to 320,610 acres.    In 2008 they felt they had a successful control program at a cost of $5.2 Million and "only" had 339,240 acres defoliated.   Note: New Jersey is less than NINE PERCENT of the size of Oregon!   The following 2008 New Jersey Department of Agriculture press release give more details:    http://www.state.nj.us/agriculture/news/press/2008/approved/press080714.html
 
Regardless of the potential, horrific damage this pest could cause Oregon, it is not surprising that Oregon Toxics Alliance (OTA) located in Eugene is spearheading a misinformation campaign to stop the spraying of Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.).   B.t. is a safe biological pesticide that only affects the caterpillar stage of the moth, and is even registered for use on ORGANIC food crops!   To help combat much of the misinformation the activists are shoveling to the media, public and legislators, the ODA has put together the following Q&A:  
   
1) What's going on?   Why?      Oregon Department of Agriculture is planning to treat a gypsy moth infestation in a neighborhood of South Eugene.  Gypsy moths were trapped there in 2007 and 2008 indicating that there is a breeding population present.  This insect is an exotic invasive species and one of the worst forest pests in the nation; millions of acres are defoliated each year in the eastern US.  We don't want it here.  Complete eradication of this population is the best way to protect Oregon. The biggest threat to Oregon's native biodiversity comes from invasive species such as the Gypsy Moth.
 
2) What is the spray?   Is it toxic?   Will it harm my children and pets?     The material we're planning to use is not a chemical but a natural biological insecticide called B.t. or B.t.k.  It is derived from a common soil bacterium and often used by organic growers.  This year we are pleased to have a formulation that is certified organic by OMRI from Eugene.  B.t.k. has been used for over forty years and has an excellent safety record worldwide.  ODA successfully conducted gypsy moth eradication sprays using B.t.k. in over 20 Oregon communities including Eugene, Portland, Bend, Ashland and others over last two decades. Human health studies from similar residential treatment projects have not found health effects related to B.t.
 
3) Why spray for seven moths?    This is not a suppression treatment to reduce a nuisance species like mosquitoes.  Catching gypsy moths two years in a row in the same neighborhood is firm evidence that a breeding population is established there. Gypsy moth is an exotic pest of national concern. Eradicating this infestation will prevent the population from becoming permanently established and spreading throughout the state.  Eliminating invasive species early prevents ecological and economic damage; this results in less use of pesticides in the future.  Keeping invasive species out of Oregon is good for the environment.
 
4) When will it happen?  Why use a helicopter?   Three sprays are scheduled for late April and May.  Exact timing depends on the weather.  B.t. does not persist in the environment so multiple sprays are necessary to ensure that the entire gypsy moth egg hatching period is covered.   The infested area is relatively large (over 600 acres), difficult to access by ground and has lots of tall mature trees.  A helicopter is the only feasible application method that would work in this situation.  We use truck applications for infestations of 50 acres or less when the trees aren't over 30 ft tall.
 
5) Why not use alternatives like pheromone traps or a species-specific virus?    We do use pheromone traps and the area will be heavily trapped for the next couple of years.  The traps are good for monitoring the effectiveness of the treatment, but by themselves, they are not effective at complete eradication.      There is a species-specific virus that targets gypsy moth but it is not available commercially and in research testing, results have been inconsistent.  Someday this might be a viable alternative, but it is not an option today.
 
6) I've heard that, Oregon has been spraying gypsy moths for decades.  It seems like we'll never eradicate them.   Why not accept the inevitable and quit all this spraying?    ODA first detected gypsy moths in Oregon in 1979 in Lake Oswego.  Several dozen infestations have been detected since.  The largest was in 1984-5 when over 19,000 moths were caught in Lane County.  ODA pioneered the use of B.t. to combat that infestation; a quarter of a million acres were sprayed over several years in the largest successful gypsy moth eradication program anywhere.  These infestations were not related to each other.  Each represents a new introduction - we often find the old egg masses on a travel trailer or picnic table that has come from an infested eastern state.  In 2008 we treated an infestation in Shady Cove, before that in 2007 we treated infestations in Bend and St. Helens.  The current infestation in Eugene is not evidence that gypsy moth eradication projects have failed - in fact our success at eradication has been excellent.  It is evidence that gypsy moths establish readily here; Oregon has abundant hosts and a favorable climate.   Our experience in Oregon indicates that one season of treatments with B.t. has a high likelihood of success at complete eradication.  Rarely a second year of treatments has been required.
 
7) What's the difference between spraying gypsy moth and spraying termites or cockroaches?     Gypsy moths are not native to Oregon and are not established here.  Termites and cockroaches are either native or were introduced long ago; they are here to stay.  We have a choice with gypsy moth; eliminate the infestation or live with gypsy moths forever.  Oregon Invasive Species Council has identified gypsy moth as one of the 100 Worst Invasive Species threatening the State.  ODA is committed to keeping it out of Oregon for as long as it is feasible to do so.
 
8) Will B.t. kill the monarch and swallowtail butterflies? Does it affect fish and birds?   B.t. will not kill butterflies, bees, ladybugs, native pollinators or other beneficial insects.  It only kills young caterpillars due to their susceptible digestive system. Unfortunately, some non-target species of moths and butterflies that are in the caterpillar stage during the treatment will be killed.  These native species will quickly move back into the neighborhood from the surrounding area.  There will be no long-term effects. Other mammals, fish and birds are not affected by B.t.
 
9) Didn't California abandon this type of aerial spray projects because of health concerns?
    No. The pest and type of treatment in California is very different from what we are proposing in Eugene. The pest in question in California was not the Gypsy moth but the light brown apple moth (LBAM) and the product used to treat LBAM was not B.t. but a specific pheromone (sexual hormone used to disrupt mating of the pest). In Eugene, we are treating the Gypsy moth and using a biological product that has an excellent health and safety record.
 
10) Who do I call if I have questions?    ODA has set up a toll free number for anyone with questions about gypsy moth or the treatment.  The number is: 1-800-525-0137.

 
Sierra Pacific Industries Announces Closure of Sawmill in Quincy, CA 
Congressman Tom McClintock gave the following remarks on the floor of Congress on Wednesday of this week:

Sierra Pacific Industries just announced the closure of its sawmill in Quincy, California, throwing another 150 families out of work.

They made it clear that the recession wasn't the cause but merely the catalyst. The real cause is that their regulatory costs - and litigation because of regulation - now exceeds their profit margin.  Two thirds of their harvest is tied up as a result.

Sierra Pacific constructed this small log-mill when the Congress passed legislation promoting tree-thinning in the surrounding forests to prevent forest fires.

But that law has not been implemented because of endless litigation by environmental groups. Sierra Pacific notes that (quote) "nearly two thirds of the current year's timber sale program is enjoined or withheld from sale pending the outcome of litigation."

So today, another 150 families in the little town of Quincy are without work - direct casualties of a retrograde Luddite ideology that finds its power in the tangle of government laws that is destroying the enterprise and prosperity of our people.
 
To read the newspaper article about the closure, Click Here
 
RNC Chair Steele Coming to Oregon March 12
Michael Steele is the first African-American to chair the Republican National Committee and the second to chair either major U.S. party's National Committee after Ron Brown, who chaired the Democratic National Committee. Steele was also the first African American to serve in a state-wide office in Maryland, as the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland from 2003 to 2007, and he was the first Republican elected to that office.  Steele is coming on behalf of the Oregon Republican Party.   Thursday, March 12th, The Hilton Hotel, 921 SW 6th Avenue, Portland. 

 
OFS NEEDS YOUR CONTINUED FINANCIAL SUPPORT!
The OFS Board appreciates our contributing members whose dollars keep our doors open and our staff working diligently to represent your needs at the state and federal levels.   We need everyone who is concerned about maintaining their pesticide, fertilizer or bio-tech tools to pitch in and support OFS's efforts - whether that's $50 or $5,000.  Now more than ever we must be totally united, a task OFS Grass Roots Director Paulette Pyle is uniquely talented in accomplishing.   So please go on line at  http://www.ofsonline.org/February/OFS%20Contribution%20Form%202009(a).pdf for a contribution form, or contact Sandi at sandi@ofsonline.org for more information or an invoice or to pay by credit card.
 
Please contact us with any questions or comments:
Terry Witt, Exeuctive Director             503-569-3300 or terry@ofsonline.org
Paulette Pyle, Grass Roots Director    503-559-1279 or paulette@ofsonline.org
Sandi Schukar, Office Manager         503-370-8092 or sandi@ofsonline.org
Have a terrific weekend!
 Terry, Paulette and Sandi
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              Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific


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