Earning public trust of herbicide use
09.20.2017

Public opinion polling in Oregon shows that many people are concerned about the use of herbicides in forestry and especially the aerial application of herbicides. However, when people learn about the rules that govern herbicide application on forests; the care with which herbicides are applied in order to protect water resources, wildlife, workers and neighbors; the expertise of the foresters and applicators; and the degree of application precision allowed with the latest technology, people are usually much more accepting of the practice.

OFRI is investing resources in helping the public and policymakers understand herbicide use and safety through our public education program. We are also helping foresters, landowners and applicators learn about the latest herbicide application technology and best practices through our landowner education program.

Two current efforts that OFRI is involved in to educate forest landowners about herbicide application are the Pacific Northwest Forest Vegetation Management Conference and the Herbicides Best Practices for Oregon Forest Management webinars. OFRI has a bunch of co-sponsors for these programs, including Oregonians for Food & Shelter, Oregon Forest & Industries Council, Washington Friends of Farms and Forests, Washington Forest Protection Association and the Western Forestry and Conservation Association.

Here are a few more details about these two educational opportunities:

PNW Forest Vegetation Management Conference: This conference is modeled on the successful Forest Vegetation Management Conference held each winter in northern California. We hope to make the PNW Forest Vegetation Management Conference an annual event that meets the educational needs of foresters, landowners and applicators in Oregon and Washington. The theme of the inaugural 2017 conference is "Evolution of Science and Emerging Technology of Herbicide Application.” It is scheduled for Nov. 29–30 at the Holiday Inn in Wilsonville. In addition to presentations by academics, the agenda includes presentations and panel discussions by practicing foresters, applicators and chemical company representatives. There will also be vendor displays and plentiful networking opportunities. Pesticide recertification credits are being sought from Oregon, Washington, California and Idaho. OFRI is underwriting reduced registration fees for Oregon Small Woodlands Association and Oregon Tree Farm System members.

Herbicide Best Practices for Oregon Forest Management (recorded webinars): This webinar series was broadcast live in June 2016, and recordings are available to view for a one-time registration fee. The series consists of four two-hour sessions, each covering a different theme: why do we spray?, pre-operations planning, managing the day of the event and being a good neighbor. The sessions offer short presentations by various experts, but much of the time is devoted to discussions by foresters who manage herbicide projects. Registrants will gain access to a resource guide that includes a number of best practices checklists for assessing, planning and implementing spray projects. One-time registration and payment of $100 per viewer allows unlimited access to the videos.

Please consider attending the PNW Forest Vegetation Management Conference and viewing the Herbicide Best Practices for Oregon Forest Management webinars. Improving our skills in herbicide application will help us earn public trust of herbicide use in forestry.

For the forest,

Mike Cloughesy

Director of Forestry

 

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