"Oregonians Fear Harmful Effects From Timberland Herbicides"

Rural residents near forest tracts in Oregon have tested positive for 2,4-D (an ingredient in Agent Orange) and atrazine in their urine -- and they think timber companies are to blame.

"BLACHLY, Ore. -- Six years ago, Eron King, an artist and young mother, moved from the edge of Eugene to a creekside plot of forest valley so her two boys could grow up raising hens and Toggenburg goats.

She wasn’t naïve about rural life in Oregon, where she’d lived for nine years. The state’s western third is timber country. The tractor-trailer rigs hauling logs – some as thin as poles, others as fat as pier pilings – were no shock to her.

“I knew clear-cutting happened,” she said in a cadence that signals comfort with the realities of a life outdoors.

But like many residents of the region, King was unaware that major timber companies – Weyerhaeuser, Roseburg Resources, Stimson Lumber, Seneca Jones and others – have been spraying millions of pounds of herbicide on their private forestland in Oregon.

Some of it, she believes, is carried by the winds and lands on her property."

Ingrid Lobet reports for the Center for Investigative Reporting August 14, 2012.
 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012