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Timber vs. Blueberries

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High Five
Monday, June 21, 2010

A petition asking timber giant Weyerhaeuser to discontinue use of herbicides has led to tense negotiations in Central Oregon.

Neighbors, including some who farm organic blueberries downstream from the company's property, hope that they can eliminate hazardous runoff.

Up on Cedar Flat Road, the neighbors believe the solution could involve bringing in the Eugene-based Northwest Youth Corps to hand weed the harvested area, Paz said. NYC has crews of youngsters who are trained in weed removal and other work and are supervised by adults. The nonprofit group charges landowners based on the type and duration of the project.

While Weyerhaeuser has made no formal decision, [organic blueberry grower Artemio] Paz has received an e-mail from Mike McDowell, Springfield area team leader for Weyerhaeuser, suggesting a stewardship agreement. Who would manage and pay for the manual weed control is uncertain, but Paz thinks Weyerhaeuser should contribute whatever it would have spent on the herbicides.

Read more at the Register-Guard.

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