Skip to comments.(Potheads Vs. Tree Huggers) Pot Farms Wreaking Havoc on Northern California Environment
Posted on 12/23/2012 11:26:16 AM PST by DogByte6RER
Pot farms wreaking havoc on Northern California environment
Burgeoning marijuana growing operations are sucking millions of gallons of water from coho salmon lifelines and taking other environmental tolls, scientists say.
EUREKA, Calif. State scientists, grappling with an explosion of marijuana growing on the North Coast, recently studied aerial imagery of a small tributary of the Eel River, spawning grounds for endangered coho salmon and other threatened fish.
In the remote, 37-square-mile patch of forest, they counted 281 outdoor pot farms and 286 greenhouses, containing an estimated 20,000 plants mostly fed by water diverted from creeks or a fork of the Eel. The scientists determined the farms were siphoning roughly 18 million gallons from the watershed every year, largely at the time when the salmon most need it.
"That is just one small watershed," said Scott Bauer, the state scientist in charge of the coho recovery on the North Coast for the Department of Fish and Game. "You extrapolate that for all the other tributaries, just of the Eel, and you get a lot of marijuana sucking up a lot of water. This threatens species we are spending millions of dollars to recover."
The marijuana boom that came with the sudden rise of medical cannabis in California has wreaked havoc on the fragile habitats of the North Coast and other parts of California. With little or no oversight, farmers have illegally mowed down timber, graded mountaintops flat for sprawling greenhouses, dispersed poisons and pesticides, drained streams and polluted watersheds.
Because marijuana is unregulated in California and illegal under federal law, most growers still operate in the shadows, and scientists have little hard data on their collective effect. But they are getting ever more ugly snapshots.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Hoopa, California - Wildlife technician Aaron Pole surveys the forest where marijuana growers left piles of trash when vacating the area. The operation was raided by the Sheriff's Department in August, and deputies cut down 26,600 plants in eight interconnected clearings along Mill Creek.
There goofy windmills are killing the birds and their marijuana plantations are killing the fish. How ‘bout those enviroliberals?! They must REALLY care about “da planet”.
What if the government took over all operations?
Isn’t that the next step?
So,why can’t Obama sic his EPA on them? Opps, forgot about the Choom gang!
Just by planting upon the watershed, or is irrigation being snatched from the creeks or what?
I suppose it was only a matter of time until the envirogreenies and the potheads clashed. They deserve one another.
If they were illegal gold miners rather that marijuana growers, the EPA would mobilize a joint task force complete with automatic weapons to shut them down. The Obama EPA is a bizarre anti capitalist organization that is stifling entrepreneurship and the creation of real wealth with its endless rules and regulations.
“There are two hydroelectric dams on the Eel, 130 feet (40 m) Scott Dam, which forms Lake Pillsbury, and 50 feet (15 m) Cape Horn Dam, which forms Van Arsdale Reservoir just north of Potter Valley. At Cape Horn Dam, the majority of the water is diverted through a tunnel and hydroelectric plant, and then to the headwaters of the Russian River in Potter Valley and is known as the Potter Valley Project.”
But, but, but....growing pot is so green and so natural for the enviroment. Not like the poisonous toxins the evil corporatists spew onto mother nature. (’
Can the rats and Hanta viruses be far behind? Look at that mess.
yes. of course, no farmer (of beets, carrots, corn, or marijuana) has to leave the countryside looking like a pig-sty.
And most farmers don’t.
the problem here is not the farming but rather the selfish pigs who are doing it
To paraphrase the fabulous furry freak brothers:
“Dope will get you though times of no salmon better than salmon will you through times of no dope”
The contradictions of modern liberalism are truly amazing. Liberals oppose smoking tobacco for the harm that the smoke causes but support smoking marijuana, whose probably just as harmful, if not more so.
California reaps the benefits of the hippie Socialist Utopia they have created. May their crops always be plentiful.
No, I’d say the next step would be to take it out of the legal “grey area” they have put it in that encourages this recklessness. If it’s not quite legal to grow it, then the growers are of course going to be fly by night operators worried more about getting arrested for drugs than getting a citation for flaunting some environmental regulations. If it’s legal to grow it, the growers will have the same incentives the follow the regulations as any other legal farmers.
It already grows wild quite freely in most environments, but the wild plants are worthless for commercial purposes. They must be separated by sex at a certain stage of cultivation, otherwise they will end up with a negligable value as a drug.
Many of these growers are heavily armed criminals connected to L.A. street gangs and the Mexican cartels - they are not in the least interested in medical marijuana or the environment.
The unintended consequences are worse than what Prohibition II is trying to stop. To think we actually had to go through repealing an amendment to end Prohibition I, this time should be easier, but it is taking much longer...
How much of this medical marijauna is being paid for via Medicaid??...AND/OR US HONEST working FOLKS....
if they want us to legalize dope, fine... I can deal with that, but they sure don’t make a very good impression for themselves when they dump tons of garbage all over the place, do they?
OMG! Dooo somethinggg, Quick! Pass a law!
Oh wait! The pot growers are already breaking half-a-dozen laws, aren’t they?
18 million gal per year sounds like a lot but it wouldn’t make a decent creek. One you can easily step across will pass millions daily.
“Liberals oppose smoking tobacco for the harm that the smoke causes but support smoking marijuana, whose probably just as harmful, if not more so. “
Well,,, sorta. A one pack a day smoker, smokes 20 cigs. 20 joints of today’s potent weed seems quite unlikely. You’d be paralyzed, and probably sound asleep.
“Outside of Santa Rosa last year  I saw miles & miles of parched corn and trees, studded by acres of lush [irrigated] grape vines..”
That irrigation for those grapes probably came from the Eel River.
Same as Viagra and abortions, I would imagine.
These LIB hypocrites never cease to amaze me in their duplicity and arrogance. Lib’s hats. Only their various drugs can keep it somewhat controlled. LIBs are sick puppies.
We’ve been fighting Agenda 21-inspired riparian measures in our county. The county wants land owners on creeks & rivers to plant more trees along the banks to ‘cool’ the water for the fish. (Warm water is deemed a pollutant.) A biologist had to point out to them that if you plant trees on the banks, they will draw down the water for their own needs during the summer. Thus much less water available to the fish.
Typical gov’t nonsense. They think they can mandate the perfect world.
That is just one of many reason Pot should be legalized.
I hike solo.
When I was in my teens I was fortunate enough to be a member of the Sheriff Explorer.
We had DEA and FBI give us classes on the various drugs people were using and they assisted the Sheriff Department in finding Pot farms.
They also trained us on how to enter a pot farm. You see, Pot is a lucrative product but, it’s illegal.
Doesn’t matter to the criminal and they booby trapped their grows so LEO, competitors and plain civilians wouldn’t take any of their product or destroy it.
Sadly, they also pollute the areas where they are camping around their grows and use dangerous chemicals that seep into the ground water and poison animals and birds.
I spent two summers cutting this stuff down when farms were discovered. I was even allowed to observe as various booby traps were discovered and made inoperable.
When I hike I am very aware of pot farms and I know of two in one particular park I hike in.
I avoid them for my safety but, in the back of mind I also hate these farms because I know what terrible damage they wreak on forest.
And it isn’t just the forest. They will also re-route small rivers and streams so they can water their crop.
This alters the ecosystem further and puts pressure and animals and habit, forcing them to seek other sources of water and sometimes putting them in contact with humans in their neighborhood.
Just end this mindless and costly war on drugs, at least on this front.
It will put an end to the violence associated with it and clean up or forests.
When the liberals are in complete control our nation it will be a police state that is racked with poverty, environmental disasters and violent racial strife while the government and the media tell us we live in the best of all possible worlds. The pretext of promoting a clean environment and social justice won’t even be getting lip service in 5 or 10 years.
Just by planting upon the watershed, or is irrigation being snatched from the creeks or what?
First of all, the number is probably a lie. They are estimating that how much is withdrawn equates to how much is lost. The two are very different. Irrigation water typically flows back into the substrate and down to the creeks. Cannabis sativa is supposedly native to central Asia, so I doubt that it is a huge water hog compared to the rest of the vegetation that would be there. Hence, I can't see that the transpiration rate would be that much different than other native plants. If other vegetation was growing in those clearings you would see less stream flow compared to clearing it.
In other words, the Federill agencies and their toady activists and white slave "scientists" are looking to use the ESA to keep pot farming illegal. Of course, that couldn't possibly have anything to do with so much of the Fed's printed money leaving the country to stay. Illegal drugs are second only to oil as a pool of exported reserve currency.
These growers take water from the creeks through miles of drip irrigation but as someone said 18 million is a drop in the bucket in the northwest. It is the rat poison and fertilizers that are the bad stuff. The garbage shown looks like common household waste. Hoopa is a Indian Reservation on the Trinity River with a corner of it on the Klamath...
The “Occupy Mill Creek” protest didn’t get much LMSM coverage.
If you think about it for a minute you'd really the illegal growers don't want it legalized, because the price would drop to a couple of dollars a bushel.
In no small part the opposition to decriminalization in northern CA is because they know how much money the black market prices pump into their local economy.
Ending the criminalization of this plant, which I think a sane reading of the Constitution and 9th amendment demands of the federal government, would put an end to illicit grow operations like this. I just drove last weekend from Florida to Missouri and saw countless acres of cropland, and strangely none of it looked like that picture...