Use alternative methods, NOT toxic aerial spray on industrial tree farms in Sky Valley, WA

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Use alternative methods, NOT toxic aerial spray on industrial tree farms in Sky Valley, WA

This petition had 3,404 supporters
SVENA (Skykomish Valley Environmental & Economic Alliance) started this petition to Weyerhaeuser Corporation and

Hello. My name is Inessa Pearce. I live in the Skykomish River Valley that is famous for its beauty and recreation. In the fall of 2016, Campbell Global and Weyerhaeuser, two timber corporations, were spraying toxic pesticides from helicopters on tree farms in our Valley. I was very afraid of those sprays because toxic chemicals can drift in air and water. A toxic chemical air drift came to my home after one of those aerial sprays. Horrid chemical smell penetrated inside. Fortunately, my daughter at that time was far away at school. I went outside only for one minute to get my pets indoors to safety. It was painful to breathe toxic air. Fine toxic mist got on my skin and chemically burned it causing pain, irritation, dryness and peeling. Later, water made pain even worse. It will be soon a year since that exposure and my skin is still healing slowly.

It turns out that massive toxic aerial pesticide spraying is an annual practice that timber corporations use to kill unwanted vegetation on industrial tree farms. It follows clearcut logging and takes place in our Valley and beyond every spring and fall.

Aerial pesticide spraying is cost effective for the timber corporations and allows them to reap larger profits.

At the same time, research and monitoring show that after spraying, pesticides can drift in air, run off and leach into groundwater, be washed downhill/downstream by rain, potentially contaminate drinking water sources and sicken residents in the neighboring communities.

Active ingredients in those sprays are numerous and include toxic chemicals such as Glyphosate (one common brand name containing Glyphosate is Roundup), 2,4-D, Imazapyr, Atrazine, Metsulfuron methyl and Sulfometuron methyl.

Some irreversible health effects for humans include reduced production of sex hormones, damage to human cells particularly in fetuses, miscarriages, attention deficit disorder, increased risks of the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer, irritation to eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. More information is in the Fact Sheet for Active Ingredients and Pesticide Properties Database, University of Hertfordshire, UK.

This dangerous chemical soup goes downstream and downwind, affecting not only human health, but also wildlife and the whole ecosystem of our watershed and the Puget Sound. The Valley residents are forced to live with poison around them. 

Instead of spraying toxic pesticides aerially, timber corporations should use alternative methods such as:

  • cutting competing vegetation manually or mechanically,
  • “spot-spraying” a smaller amount of selected plants on the ground,
  • tolerating a more diverse “forest” (not a monoculture tree farm) which would also be healthier,
  • planning their cutting and replanting to minimize the “need” to control competing vegetation.

The result of using these alternative methods will be a healthier forest, and healthier people, communities and the Valley - a better place for our children.

Please join me by signing this petition, spreading the word and helping stop toxic pesticide rains every spring and fall in the Skykomish River Valley!

More information:

Chemical Spraying page at

Chapter 35.88 RCW “Water Pollution—Protection From”

RCW 70.54.010 “Polluting Water Supply – Penalty”:

Every person who shall deposit or suffer to be deposited in any spring, well, stream, river or lake, the water of which is or may be used for drinking purposes, or on any property owned, leased or otherwise controlled by any municipal corporation, corporation or person as a watershed or drainage basin for a public or private water system, any matter or thing whatever, dangerous or deleterious to health, or any matter or thing which may or could pollute the waters of such spring, well, stream, river, lake or water system, shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Timberland Herbicide Spraying Sickens a Community, article in High Country News 10-4-2014

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