Lincoln County’s farms and forests are our heritage. Through decades of practice, farmers and foresters have learned how to keep our land healthy and productive. Their work supports local jobs and provides revenue for public services.
Measure 21-177 would cripple the ability of hard working families in Lincoln County to protect their land. This extreme measure is a ban on the safe, effective application of approved products that if banned, would put Lincoln County residents and workers at risk.
How will Measure 21-177 impact our farms?
Local farmers care about the health of the land and carefully observe regulations to protect waterways and neighboring properties from spraying. Local blueberry, Christmas tree, and hazelnut farmers use spraying to stop pests and disease, practices necessary for them to compete with a global market.
Measure 21-177 would put farms at risk. Farmers would be forced to adopt expensive practices like hand application or weeding. Local farmers work in partnership with local officials and stakeholders to protect water quality through community-based programs. This Measure is excessive regulation that will hurt a cornerstone of this County’s heritage.
How will Measure 21-177 impact our fishing industry?
Fishing vessels must paint their hulls with aquatic antifouling paints to protect them from marine life like barnacles and algae. Because this paint is classified as a pesticide, it will be illegal to spray paint fishing vessels in Lincoln County because when they apply the paint they are usually elevated off the ground via lifts or platforms. This poorly worded Measure does not define what aerial spraying means let alone make exceptions for aerial spraying in tented conditions. This would hurt Lincoln County’s fishing industry which is why so many fishing families and the Ports of Toledo and Newport are saying NO to Measure 21-177.
How will Measure 21-177 impact our forests?
Forests cover the vast majority of Lincoln County. Sustainable forestry depends on the ability to replant after trees have been harvested. Foresters will spray once or twice in the lifespan of the trees to ensure the young saplings are not crowded out by invasive species like scotch broom and Himalayan blackberries. Without spraying, reforested areas will grow more slowly – increasing demand for other forms of timber including old growth.
Spraying includes a number of safeguards to protect nature and the public. Certified professionals are required to observe buffers from schools, homes, and streams. Spraying is prohibited if wind would cause it to drift onto neighboring property.
Managing forests through workers to eliminate brush and bushes would be costly and dangerous in the terrain of Lincoln County.
Why would this increase the risk of disease?
As the world grows closer and change is accelerating, new diseases have regularly emerged to endanger the public. Globalization and climate change are changing how outbreaks occur and spread.
In recent years, the United States have seen the introduction of diseases like West Nile and Zika viruses that are spread by mosquitos. West Nile virus was last detected in Lincoln County in 2007.
Public health experts rely on spraying to control the spread of these diseases during outbreaks, but this law would make it illegal. Indeed, if county workers did attempt to spray, the Measures authorizes people to take “direct action” to stop it.
Measure 21-177 stops us from using the best science to protect the public’s health.
Read the full measure here: http://www.protectfamilyfarmsandforests.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2017/02/Measure-21-177.pdf