If chemicals from a private logging operation
show up on Ed Smith's organic herbal extract farm, all his worst
fears will come true. Though Boise Cascade commonly sprays
herbicides after it logs, Smith, cofounder of Herb Pharm in
Williams, Ore., says his company would have to forfeit its organic
certification and face ruin if chemicals were found in his herbs.
"Seventy-five people would lose their jobs," he
But the Oregon Department of Forestry says
Smith and other organic farmers have no cause for concern. The
chemicals will dissipate before they reach downstream farms, says
spokesman Rod Nichols. "We're confident the farms are
Nonetheless, the Williams town council is
now crusading to buy the forest outright from Boise Cascade. "We
want to create a Williams Community Land Trust and preserve the
forest as open space," says council member Cedar
The timber giant says it's willing to sell
at a fair price. To show good faith, it's halted logging this
summer while the land is appraised.
council plans to raise most of the forest's
several-hundred-thousand-dollar price tag from conservation
organizations like the Trust for Public Lands. Grey says the goal
is to have a significant financial commitment by the beginning of
next summer's logging season.