following HACSA

December 5, 2007

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 4/7/2008


Commissioner Faye Stewart presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bill Fleenor, Bobby Green, Sr. and Peter Sorenson present.  County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.








a. ORDER 07-12-5-1/In the Matter of Approving the Lane County Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management Program Annual Report (2007).


Oren Schumacher, Public Works, presented the annual report.  He indicated they brought the report through the Vegetation Management Advisory Committee in early November and they voted on the annual report, 4-3, with one abstention.  He recalled in 2006 they presented their annual report and got approval by the Board of Health for a permitted products list and a Rights-of-Way Management Prescription Plan.  He said the management prescription plan was developed to work in conjunction with the Last Resort Policy to get close to defining the term last resort.


Schumacher reported that in 2007 no herbicides were used by the Lane County Department of Public Works for roadside vegetation management.  He added no herbicides have been used for roadside vegetation since August 2003 by Lane County Public works for roadside vegetation management.  He indicated they have to list in the annual report any non-listed herbicide for the coming year.  He noted Lane County Public Works didnít propose anything outside of the approved products list they had adopted last year.  He added that VMAC did propose three new products at the last new meeting in November.  He said they would need Board approval. He said the three products were EPA approved.


Schumacher indicated the report listed four things for Public Works from the IVM program including the use of herbicides, noxious and evasive plant management, partnership efforts, guard rail maintenance and crack seal preparation for the roads.  He said they use an integrated vegetation management approach that leans toward mechanical control vegetation.  He noted they had 13 biological control projects in conjunction with Oregon Department of Agriculture. 


Schumacher reported that they had discussed an ďadopt a vegetationĒ idea.  He said it had been a discussion with VMAC for the past six months to develop a program getting community members involved to help reduce the use of herbicides in controlling vegetation.


With regard to guardrail maintenance, Schumacher said they wanted to see herbicide use implemented.  He said their current fleet of brush and grass mowers cannot adequately remove vegetation behind guard rails.  He said guard rails are put in for safety reasons for the traveling public and they are facing limitations.  He indicated they used to use the inmate work crews to cycle around the guardrails and manually control them.  He said with the loss of the workforce, they are looking at the void.  He added they donít have enough staff to work with.  He commented that a lot of the noxious weeds are being sprayed by current methods.  He stated that Lane County was not a viable partner with other agencies with restoration projects.


Schumacher reported that the herbicide truck was purchased in 1990 and the current sale value is from $15,000 to $20,000.  He said staff recommendation is to sell the truck.  He said they are proposing herbicide on a targeted approach. 


Stewart thought the guard rail was the most important piece.  He noticed blackberries are growing over the guard rails.  He said the site vision will be impaired. He didnít want to increase the possibility of accidents.  He said if herbicides were used, they wouldnít have to be used every year.


Fleenor said the VMAC was split. He wanted to send this back to VMAC and work with VMAC to see if he could work to get consensus and bring it back to the Board in early January.


Sorenson also wanted this to go back to committee.  He wanted an e-mail on the number of votes that were unanimous.


Dwyer recalled the Last Resort Policy was designed to use chemicals as a last resort.  He said they would use different methods to eradicate them. 


Green said some are philosophically opposed to herbicide. He understood the Last Resort Policy, is when after they had tried all of the other methods and they have been proven to be futile or less successful, then at that time is when they would use herbicides.  He commented that cost is an issue.  He was ready to adopt the report today.


Schumacher said it wasnít the intent of the Last Resort Policy to recreate the wheel.  He said they have to rely on outside research.  He stated they canít afford to do everything.  He added their program was adopted by the Board of Health.


Stewart said if this goes back, he thought there should be a conversation on whether they should manage evasive species.  He wanted to adopt the report if it mentioned the pinpointing of applications.  He asked if they choose to manage evasive species, how much and what type of applications they would use.  He wanted to quantify the amount for crack seals.  He wanted staff to look at possibly restoring positions for mechanically treating weeds. He asked what kind of options they have to restructure the work force.


Schumacher reported they mow twice a year and it is expensive to do.  He said they were mowing to reduce the use of herbicides.


Dwyer commented that managing evasive species is large.  He thought there were liability issues that impacted the roads and that should be discussed.


Green wanted the intent of the unintended consequences of not being in the business and the decision that gets recommended.


Stewart stated that this report would go back to Vegetation Management for a discussion of the items that were discussed, to get more clarity and recommendations.







There being no further business, Commissioner Stewart adjourned the meeting at 11:00 a.m.


Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary