On Monday July 24, the Siletz River Ecosystem filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit against Lincoln County along Oregon’s coast.
The lawsuit was brought by Rex Capri of Newport and Wakefield Farms of Eddyville, who dispute the legality of a ballot measure banning aerial pesticide spraying in the county. As KBOO reported, the measure passed after a prolonged vote count in May.
Lincoln County citizen Carol van Strum filed the motion to intervene on behalf of the Siletz River Ecosystem, acting as a human part of that ecosystem. In a press release, she said, “Like the Lorax, I speak for the rights of waters and forests and wildlife to challenge human violations of natural law.”
If this legal strategy sounds unfamiliar—it is. This is only the third time an ecosystem has intervened in a lawsuit in the United States, though it has been done in other countries as well.
The main group supporting the aerial spray ban measure, Lincoln County Community Rights, also intervened in the lawsuit earlier this month.
KBOO reporter Sam Bouman spoke with one of the group’s founders, Maria Sause, to find out more about this legal strategy and the lawsuit at hand.