To the Editor:

On March 26, The Franklin Journal published my letter calling on Representative Scott Landry to vote “ought to pass” on LD 125. This bill would prevent helicopters from spraying glyphosate and other toxic herbicides over large tracts of Maine’s forest.

These pesticides can drift and contaminate farmlands forcing organic farm families to surrender their organic certification for three years through no fault of their own. LD 125 would help prevent this, while protecting our health and environment, and encouraging more sustainable forestry practices.

Hundreds of Mainers emailed lawmakers in support of LD 125 before the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee (ACF) voted on it, including Rep. Landry. Unfortunately, he did not honor this public support and sided with industrial forestry corporations.

During the ACF work sessions, he voted against LD 125, as well as a bill to ban the residential use of bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides (LD 155) and a bill to create a Maine forest advisory board (LD 1549). This troubling streak breaks from his otherwise strong environmental record and the will of voters in his district in Farmington and New Sharon.

We need to shift away from toxic pesticides and toward sustainable forestry practices. The full legislature will soon cast votes on these bills. Please join me and urge Rep. Landry to vote for the minority reports on all three forestry bills (LD 125 and LD 1549), as well as LD 155. These steps are critical to protect our health, environment, and organic farms.

Will Jones

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