Owen to Ford

To: Allyn Ford, Roseburg Forest Products

From: Day Owen, The Pitchfork Rebellion

Topic: Request Your Cooperation on Herbicide Issue

Date: 12/21/08


Dear Allyn,


The following is a brief synopsis of my family’s experience with Roseburg Forest Products, as well as our previous communications with you (Allyn Ford). After the synopsis of our past history, I will invite you to enter a dialogue about how we might work together on the herbicide issue to create a win-win situation. I have a couple of rather creative ideas that I will bounce off you.


1)      On October 12, 2007, my wife, Neila, and I were both badly sickened when we were exposed to herbicide sprayed by a helicopter on a Roseburg Forest Products clear-cut. The clear-cut is on a hillside across from our property, located at mile marker 23 on Highway 36, between Triangle Lake and Greenleaf. Both my wife and I incurred medical bills related to this exposure.

2)      On May 2, 2008, my teenage daughter, Alena, was badly sickened when she was exposed to herbicide sprayed by a helicopter on the same Roseburg Forest Products clear-cut. (Doctor’s report confirms exposure; available on request.)

3)      This past year, at two meetings of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Federal Forestlands (you served on that council), my wife and I, after giving public testimony in regard to the herbicide issue, briefly communicated our concerns to you. We asked you to support the establishment of a buffer zone on how close a timber industry helicopter can spray herbicide next to a home or school. You responded by stating that you were certain that such a buffer zone must already exist. You told us that you would “talk to your people” about whether or not a buffer zone exists – we assured you that it did not already exist – and would call me back. You called me back and confirmed that no buffer zone currently exists. I asked if you would be willing to take the lead on this issue and endorse the establishment of a buffer zone. You stated that all sorts of political things come in to play, that you can not at this time endorse the establishment of a buffer zone, but that you were willing to participate in discussions with us on this and other issues significant to forest dwellers. Twice after that conversation, I left phone messages for you, asking for a meeting to discuss our issues with you. Neither of those calls were returned.


I know that you are extremely busy. Nevertheless, I request that you meet with us to discuss the following win-win ideas:

1) I would like the opportunity to pitch to you the idea of Roseburg Forest Products setting up one ‘Manual Release Test Project’ in the Triangle Lake area that would replace herbicide use with ‘manual release’ performed by local residents. (Manual release – used by the Collins timber company – is the practice of sending a crew in with hand-tools to remove the maple-shoots/weeds that would otherwise compete with newly planted trees. The cost is roughly equivalent to the cost of using herbicide and does not pollute.)

2) We can brainstorm about the possibility of State or Federal government financial contribution to such test projects. Such projects would be attractive to government at this time of interest in ‘green public works projects’ that benefit rural communities.


Let me know if you are willing to give us one hour for a face-to-face meeting.

Phone: (541) 927-3017  Day Owen, Box 160, Greenleaf, OR 97412    Thanks, Day Owen