LAKESIDE -- Residents needn't worry about the aerial spraying of herbicides in an area near Eel Lake within the next few weeks.

The spraying is to control certain plant growth on two 25-acre parcels of recently harvested land belonging to Douglas County Land Department, said Delos Devine, stewardship forester from the Oregon Department of Forestry.

"It's no different than spraying your vegetable garden," Devine said. "It's usually done during the first year or two during plantation."

Devine and Gary Groth, Douglas County Land Department Director, said the area was sprayed last fall and was a common practice.

"We've never had any kind of a problem or complaint," Groth said.

Some community concern had been expressed because of the proximity of the spraying of Atrizine and Transline to Lakeside's Municipal Water supply, Eel Lake.

"Some foresters have advised the water won't be safe to drink," said Tamara Estabrook, office manager for the Lakeside Water District.

However, in an email to the county, Devine suggested using Glysophate instead of Atrizine. He also suggested widening the buffer of Eel Lake to guard against Transline runoff.

"There have been some reports of Atrizine causing issues," Groth said. "Maybe because it's gotten negative publicity recently."

Devine said he'd be present during the spraying because it was a "sensitive area." He also said the land department had submitted a written plan and he'd ensure the sensitive areas remained buffered.

"As long as they follow the Forest Practices Act, they'll be OK," Devine said.

The spraying is supposed to take 45 minutes to an hour and won't be done if there's rain or wind. Devine said the areas are gated so no one should be present during spraying. No specific day or time has been set.

Reporter Emily Thornton can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 249 or at emily.thornton@theworldlink.com or on Twitter: @EmilyK_Thornton.

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