Sponsored by: Resolution submitted by Daphne Wysham, Environmental Caucus Approved: 08/11/2019
A RESOLUTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF OREGON
WHEREAS, the timber industry has engaged in mechanized clear cutting and the export of raw logs, practices that undermine family-wage jobs and the economic vitality of rural communities, and
WHEREAS, the unsustainable practices of mechanized clear cutting and aerial spraying of toxic chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides) in numerous watersheds, especially our easily impacted coastal and rural communities throughout Oregon, including the watershed that feeds into Detroit Lake reservoir (which provides drinking water for Salem) are a threat to our public health, and
WHEREAS, Oregon Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency in Salem in May of 2018 due to high levels of cyanotoxins – a cancer-causing byproduct of toxic algae that is produced in warm standing water with nutrient runoff – found in the Salem drinking water supply, and
WHEREAS, climate change is expected to result in lower water flows, warmer waters, landslides wildfires and outbreaks of insects and disease and all these are made worse by current industrial logging practices, and
WHEREAS, studies show the timber industry is the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state of Oregon, and
WHEREAS, the drinking water of some Oregon communities, including our easily impacted coastal and rural area exceeds safe levels of carcinogenic trihalomethanes, formed when chlorine interacts with the sediment pollution that often results from current industrial forest practices, and
WHEREAS, Oregon’s forest practices laws are weaker than those of Idaho, Washington, and California, and have not been substantially updated since the 1970s, and
WHEREAS, the timber industry is being subsidized with over $300 million in state subsidies per year, and
WHEREAS, climate-smart forest management practices associated with in-forest activities such as replanting, pre-commercial thinning, invasives control, and selective cutting would increase the number of jobs in rural communities, protect watersheds and salmon habitat buffer-canopy, and enhance climate resilience overall, and
WHEREAS, Article 3 of the Democratic Party of Oregon’s 2018 Platform contains numerous planks affirming the actions requested below:
NOW, THEREFORE, THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF OREGON RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. We call on all party officials and elected representatives to support a ban on clearcutting and the application of herbicides, pesticides and other chemical fertilizers in Oregon’s drinking watersheds.
Section 2. We call on all party officials and elected representatives to support a shift in government subsidies away from unsustainable forest practices and toward more labor-intensive practices resulting in climate-smart, sustainable forest management practices that reduce carbon release and improve sequestration.
Section 3. We call on all party officials and elected representatives to support the modernization of Oregon’s Forest Practices Act to meet standards set by best science and best practice.