About the event

Forest spraying by helicopter, photo by Jesse Clark

A Canadian/American speaking tour will visit Rockaway Beach, Oregon, on June 22 to discuss the need for a new paradigm in forest management. The event is hosted by the North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection, and Oregon Shores is among the groups co-sponsoring it.

The event will take place at 275 S Pacific St. Rockaway Beach from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and features Deke Gunderson, an environmental scientist and toxicologist; James Steidle of Stop the Spray BC; and Ryan Branstetter of the Umatilla Tribe. It is free and open to all.

The speakers will discuss the challenges of freeing forests from pesticide use and valuing the deciduous trees, often their target.

“Forestry in the Pacific Northwest, from Oregon to British Columbia and beyond, has become more like thinking of forests as an agricultural crop, and this has had significant impacts on wildlife, resiliency, and wildfire,” says James Steidle.

Pesticides are widely used in forestry across the Pacific Northwest to remove deciduous species like alder, cottonwood, madrone (arbutus), maple, birch, and aspen. The goal is to grow commercial conifer plantations of one or two species.

“As a salmon biologist, these forests lands, especially those found in the riparian area, are critical to salmon, as the salmon are also critical to the health of the forests,” says Ryan Branstetter. “There are some tough questions to ask as a community, such as: What is a healthy forest? and, How do we maintain a healthy diverse forests?”

Simplifying forests and removing deciduous species like red alder can harm fisheries and increases the probability of forest fires, something recognized as long ago as 1917. It can also undermine the growth of conifers.

Some of the pesticides used in Oregon and Washington State forestry include glyphosate, 2,4-d, hexazinone, and tricoplyr. A recent Oregon study found the presence of these forestry herbicides in 38% of bivalves sampled.

Event Location

275 S. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach