By Kiera Morgan:
Measure 21-177 had its day in court yesterday morning (10/9) in front of Judge Bachart. The plaintiffs Rex Capri and Wakefield Farms in Eddyville are owners of woodlands in the County who have previously hired a corporation to undertake the aerial spraying of pesticides on woodlands that the plaintiffs own. The lawsuit was filed June 6th in response to the people’s affirmative vote to ban aerial spraying of pesticides in Lincoln County on May 16. They are seeking to retain the ability to hire a corporation to undertake the aerial spraying of pesticides on his property. At question with the measure is whether or not the county’s ban on aerial spraying of pesticides should be overridden by state preemption laws. The attorney for Mr. Capri and Wakefield Farms told the court that the measure conflicts with the state forest practices act.
It was suggested that the measure could only apply to county owned property and not private property. County Council Wayne Belmont told Judge Bachart that he would like to see more clarification regarding the definition of aerial spraying. The attorney for Lincoln Community Rights told the judge that the measure is valid according to the Oregon Bill of Rights and the voters have enacted their right of self government for themselves and the environment. Judge Bachart after listening to all parties said that this is a matter that is going to require a lot of thought, research and consideration and told the court that she would be thorough in reviewing all the information brought forward. A final decision is not expected for a couple more weeks.