More information about the Tree Kill Along Highway 20

More than 100 of the iconic, old-growth ponderosa pine trees which greet us when we arrive back into Central Oregon from the Santiam Pass or the Metolius River Basin are dying because they were sprayed with a deadly herbicide by the Forest Service and ODOT over the course of three consecutive years. 

LandWatch requested public records from these agencies to try to get to the bottom of how this terrible blunder happened and who is responsible. Our public records request showed that Forest Service staff knew the herbicide Perspective could be harmful to ponderosas. Despite internal warnings, the trees were sprayed and they are now lost forever. Read more in The Bulletin.

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Next week, the Forest Service is holding a public meeting in Sisters to discuss their plans to log and sell the trees killed by the herbicide.  There will also be a question and answer session at the end of the meeting.  If you are concerned about this agency negligence and want to learn more, we encourage you to attend. 

Public Meeting on the Highway 20 Corridor Public Safety Project
Monday, September 24th
6pm - 8pm
at the Sisters/Camp Sherman fire hall located in the City of Sisters 


The Forest Service requests you RSVP to Allison Sikora at allisonrsikora@fs.fed.us or (541)-549-7736.

For the Highway 20 Corridor Public Safety Project, we are asking for appropriate mitigation and corrective actions for the carelessness of the Sisters Ranger District and ODOT that resulted in harm to the old-growth ponderosa pine trees including, for example:

  • The old growth trees should not be cut down and removed. Instead, they should be "topped" by cutting or blasting so that they become wildlife snags and scenic boles, which will retain a scenic corridor along the highway. That also removes the danger of trees falling on the highway.

  • An investigation should be done to find out how this happened in order to figure out how to prevent this from occurring again.

  • Public notice and comment should be required on any future herbicide use in scenic corridors and in the Metolius Conservation Area.