A group of ruralites near Eugene, Ore., have begun a five-week series of prayer circles in front of timber company offices.

Organizer Lynn Bowers said the group resorted to prayer circles after calls and letters to the timber companies got no response.

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“No one willingly does harm,” Bowers said, clasping hands in a circle of eight friends in front of Transition Management Inc.’s offices near Valley River Center in Eugene. “I pray that these timber guys’ hearts are open so they understand the harm they are doing.”

Although the timber companies say the herbicides are necessary to keep invasive species — like scotch broom and blackberry — from overgrowing, Bowers argues that the chemicals are too risky for forest and human health. She says their group will pick a different company to pray by each Friday until Earth Day, because “we need a miracle to change this situation.” Amen?

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