09-23-2023  11:39 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
An activist known as Munger Cakes projects messages onto a large basalt rock formation at Seal Rock State Park after sunset on August 30, 2023, in an attempt to raise awareness of an upcoming pesticide spray over nearby 473 acres. (Photo by The Skanner)
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 31 August 2023

Seal Rock, Or—A private timberland owner has notified the requisite state agencies of his plan to aerially spray 473 acres of clear cut forest over the Beaver Creek watershed, in Lincoln County on the Oregon coast, with a chemical cocktail containing glyphosate. Glyphosate, an active ingredient in many weed killers, has been the subject of many studies regarding its potential to cause cancer, and is the subject of upwards of 100,000 lawsuits against Monsanto / Bayer.

All the water from the Seal Rock Water District (SRWD) utility company comes from Beaver Creek, supplying water to approximately 5,500 customers. The spray permit is active starting early September and is good for 90 days from the start date.

The land is owned by Sorn Nymark of Denmark.

Wednesday night, local organizers projected messages onto the large basalt rock formations at Seal Rock State Park in an attempt to get the word out.


In 2017 Measure 21-177, a county-wide ban on aerially sprayed pesticides was made law by the voters of Lincoln County. Shortly after the adoption of the county law, which would’ve included Beaver Creek, a lawsuit was filed by timber interests. After 29 months the law was overturned by a circuit court judge, which was upheld by the court of appeals, based on state preemption of local pesticide regulation. State preemption disallows local jurisdictions the authority to regulate or prohibit such activities allowed by the state, despite expressed health or environmental concerns. 

In a letter to the landowner, Lincoln County Board of Commissioners said, “Oregon law makes the decision to spray or not to spray yours. Your ownership of our precious natural resources also comes with a clear ethical, if not legal, obligation to protect them. We urge you to seek alternative means to control unwanted vegetation.”

Residents of Beaver Creek and the surrounding area have created a website to raise awareness and mount a challenge to this spray event which they say will affect the lives of all wildlife, residents, and their watershed for decades.

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