Timber companies routinely spray their forest lands with hazardous chemicals such as Glyphosate, Atrazine and 2,4-D (an ingredient in Agent Orange) to prevent plant growth after a clear-cut. Due to drift from aerial spraying these chemicals “trespass”, contaminating surface and groundwater, livestock, crops, and people.
Many state laws shield timber companies against liability for the harm they cause as long as they are following what are “generally accepted practices”, including the aerial spraying of herbicides near populated areas. Because of these rules, citizens have no legal recourse to sue timber companies, or the State, for the impact on the health of community members or damage to their property. Local communities have turned to drafting Community Rights initiatives to ban the aerial spraying of herbicides in their counties and assert their right to local decision making.