Dear OGCSA Members,
You are an important part of the Oregonians for Food & Shelter (OFS) coalition. Our long history of success comes from the strong advocacy of our grassroots members like you. As a coalition, we have passed pesticide and seed preemption laws, the right to farm and forest law, Integrated Pest Management legislation, and helped to secure funding for our land grant university. Together, we have also stopped many attempts to regulate your business. However, we are currently facing some of our greatest challenges.
It is not hyperbolic to say that your ability to use pesticides and fertilizers to care and maintain golf courses, is squarely under attack.
We are facing challenges on the local level with ballot measures seeking to restrict pesticide use. This month, a measure in Lincoln County to ban aerial spraying of pesticides qualified for the May 2017 ballot. In the measure, the definition of aerial application is so broad it would include other application methods. Additionally, it allows citizens to use direct action to enforce this measure; putting applicators at risk of bodily harm and destruction of private property.
Earlier this year, extreme environmental groups like Pacific Rivers Council and Beyond Toxics supported the introduction of three statewide initiative petitions to ban aerial applications in forestry. While they did not qualify for the 2016 General Election, we fully expect a version of these damaging measures to be refiled in an attempt to qualify for the 2018 ballot.
Nationally, as in Oregon, there is an attempt to tie water quality impairments solely to agricultural activities. For example, groups are attempting to regulate your fertilizer use through a variety of ways including the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
All of these challenges mean that OFS needs your support now more than ever. We need your engagement with the legislature, state and federal agencies, and even in your local communities. We also need your financial support. We are asking everyone in our grassroots network to make a contribution of any amount to support OFS with the difficult challenges that lie ahead. Whether it is for just $25 or even $100, it all makes a difference. One hundred percent of your donation will fund the OFS mission to hold firm your freedom in crop production and protection choices.
Collectively, we have a legacy of stewardship to share. Oregon’s natural resource community has a proud history and a strong future of producing the best products while protecting the environment. Together, we can fight and win today’s challenges just as we have the challenges of the past.
Ted Reiss, Chair
Katie Fast, Executive Drector