Jefferson County Citizens To Occupy Pope Resources Land

Jefferson County Environmental Coalition Jefferson County area citizens to occupy Pope Resources Land due to aerial spraying near city reservoir Citizens of Jefferson and Kitsap County will occupy a clear-cut land area owned by Pope Resources.

The land in question is next to City Lake, the water reservoir for the city of Port Townsend. The occupation will start on Monday, August 19, 2019 in the early morning and will extend to as long as Pope Resources tries to aerial spray the land.

Citizens of Eastern Jefferson County are occupying the land that Pope Resources clear-cut because our local and state governments have failed to protect our human health, land, water, air, and wildlife.

We are therefore preparing to protect our health, water, and environment. We will start the occupation on Monday, August 19th, and stay on the land until Pope Resources agrees not to aerial spray the area and agrees to stop using glyphosate and other dangerous toxins to control unwanted plant growth on their lands. Safe alternatives to aerial spraying are readily available.

Three weeks ago Pope announced they would NOT aerial spray or use glyphosate in Kitsap County this year. We insist that the health and safety of Jefferson County residents and its environment deserve the same protections. Pope’s double standard flies shamelessly in the face of reason and equality.

In 2018 Pope Resources aerial sprayed the area around City Lake and evidence was found by nearby residents that chemical drift had occurred near and possibly over the lake itself.

The City of Port Townsend was notified. Community members have continued to notify the City of Port Townsend and the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners about the potential for drift and chemical contamination by harsh and dangerous chemicals used to kill plants on the nearby clear-cut. The chemicals that Pope has posted on the site are as follows: Accordxrt2, Oust Xtra, Rotary 2 XL, Superpread SO and OustXP, Transline and Grounded W. All are extra loads of glyphosate.

This is different than what Pope reported they would spray on this site on their website which was Imazapyr, Glyphosate, Sulfometuron Methyl + Metsulfuron-Methyl, and vegetable oil. The Washington Department of Natural Resources has allowed 20 different chemicals to be sprayed on this site. (FPA/N# 2616127)

Pope Resources gave notice of impending spray activity throughout Eastern Jefferson County in July 2019 via an organization website called “popeneighbor2neighbor”.

In the past, Pope Resources contacted the Jefferson County Conservation District of impending spraying of herbicides on their land in Jefferson County. The conservation district then published the information in the local Port Townsend newspaper, The Leader. Pope no longer communicates with the conservation district or local media about impending herbicide use.

Community members had to sift through the company website to find what would be sprayed and how it would be applied. The website did not publish dates of application. The spraying by Pope will impact Port Townsend, Chimacum, Quilcene, Port Ludlow, Port Hadlock and other small communities.

Community members then started a campaign to ask the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners and the City of Port Townsend councilors to stop the spraying because it creates a public health emergency in the county. Watersheds throughout eastern Jefferson County will be impacted with toxic herbicides which kill bees, fish, impact organic farms and gardens, wells and springs, wetlands, lakes, cause hoof rot in wildlife and disrupt the viability of lakes, streams and ultimately the Puget Sound and Hood Canal.

We, citizens of Jefferson County, Washington ask that you as journalists cover our action and inform Washington State communities that we intend to defend our communities from Pope Resource’s destructive actions.

For more information contact Ellen O’Shea elleno@peak.org

Author: jeffersoncountyprogressive

Editor Ant edits for the ants

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