‘A huge, huge mess’; officials talk environmental impacts of marijuana, and the need for more study, clean up
Federal and local law enforcement officials are citing increased environmental degradation as a primary reason for an imminent crackdown on large-scale marijuana grow operations.
But when it comes to the full scope of the damage, it’s difficult to get more than anecdotal examples of diverted streams, unpermitted soil grading, the clear cutting of trees, heavy fertilizer and pesticide usage and stories about tons — literally tons — of garbage left in some of the state’s most pristine public lands.
The only peer reviewed scientific study that begins to quantify the impacts of large-scale, illicit pot grows was released earlier this summer by UC Davis researchers. It concludes that the heavy use of high-powered rodenticides at outdoor marijuana grows is likely a leading cause of death for the Pacific fisher, a reclusive weasel-like creature that is currently a candidate for federal protection under the endangered species act…
”The truth of the matter is you don’t have to have the flu to know it’s bad — they can do 400 studies, and I know it’s bad,” said
North Coast Congressman Mike Thompson in a recent phone interview with the Times-Standard. “But, anything at all that can be done to quantify this — to show exactly how bad it is — I think we need to do.”
Really interesting article, I had no idea this was going on. Its a shame that these growers are so irresponsible with their grows.