Cannabis growers hurt Humboldt environment

Published: Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 - 11:10 am

Re "Marijuana farms come at a high cost: 3.3 million" (Editorials, Jan. 13): Profit-driven, cannabis growers in Humboldt County are a different breed from the back-to-the-land hippies that migrated north from the Bay Area in the 1960s. Greedy growers clear-cut and grade the land to produce copious amounts of marijuana destined for the black market. The grower who is blinded by money uses pesticides against competing plants and synthetic fertilizers to stimulate the growth of cannabis. Because streambeds and riparian forest act as buffers to sound, diesel generators that power indoor grows are placed near streams. These growers also are quick to divert water from a stream to irrigate cannabis. On the North Coast, water pollution and diversion caused by illicit grows damage the Mattole, Eel, Trinity and Klamath rivers and their tributaries, where coho and spring-run Chinook salmon are endangered and fall-run Chinook and Pacific steelhead are threatened.

-- Michael Lee, Arcata

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