Rejection of Oregon forest ballot measures draws lawsuit


Initiative Petitions 35, 36 and 37 call for tightening the state's aerial herbicide spraying laws

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Backers of rejected ballot measures proposed by environmentalists to tighten Oregon’s forestry have filed a lawsuit, saying Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno broke with legal precedent and based her rejection on bad advice from political appointees.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that the lawsuit, filed Monday in Marion County Circuit Court, asks a judge to overturn the rejection and award attorneys’ fees.

The ballot measures – Initiative Petitions 35, 36 and 37 – are largely the same. They call for tightening the state’s aerial herbicide spraying laws, which today offer some of the West Coast’s weakest protections for people and fish. They call for more logging restrictions in steep, landslide-prone areas. They would prohibit conflicts of interest for state forestry board appointees, who today can set policies that benefit their own companies.

Clarno, a Republican, rejected the initiatives Sept. 24, saying they covered more than one subject. The Oregon Constitution says each ballot initiative can only address a single policy topic.

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