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EUGENE, Ore. - Commissioners and staff with Lane County continue to receive letters threatening violence. They've been getting the letters since February, but it's now become clear what the threats are about.
The anonymous sender said they want to see the Freedom from Aerial Spraying of Herbicides Bill of Rights Charter on the upcoming ballot in May or they'll follow through with their threats.
This measure refers to herbicide sprays used by timber companies after a clear-cut to prevent plant growth. Proponents of the measure said those sprays are toxic to wildlife, watersheds, and human health. So the passing of this aerial herbicide spray ban would combat the use of those sprays by timber companies. You can find more information on their webpage, here.
Eugene Police have launched a full investigation, and now they need the public's help identifying and finding the person issuing these threats. What they know right now is that the person claims to be a Vietnam-era veteran with stage-four cancer. Anyone with information that may help is encouraged to call Detective Curtis Newell at 541-682-5174.
"You never know if the person is willing to follow through on some of those threats, but we wouldn't take anything for granted," Detective Newell said.
Lane County staff are taking this threat very seriously, and that may be why you've noticed increased security if you've attended meetings at Harris Hall. Metal detectors and bag checks will be mandatory to enter the meetings until the situation is resolved.
"It's certainly made folks a little more aware of what's going on around them, but it hasn't ultimately changed the work or our commitment to do the work," said Devon Ashbridge, the Public Information Officer with Lane County. "We have far too much to do in our community to be derailed by something like this."