Wednesday, April 16, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Pot farm boom slams Northern Calif. environment

Pot Growers Environment

FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2012 photo, Aaron Pole, a wildlife technician with the Hoopa Tribal Forestry, walks inside the forest where marijuana growers left piles of trash after vacating the area on the Hoopa Indian Reservation in eastern Humboldt County, Calif. The Los Angeles Times reports Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, that in one remote, 37-square mile forest patch, scientists found 567 outdoor farms and greenhouses. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Genaro Molina) NO FORNS; NO SALES; MAGS OUT; ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER OUT; LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS OUT; VENTURA COUNTY STAR OUT; INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT, TV OUT.

EUREKA — From water-siphoning to pesticide-spraying to just plain littering, a flowering of pot farms driven by the rise of medical marijuana is battering Northern California’s wilderness areas, natural resources and endangered species.

The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that in one remote, 37-square mile forest patch, scientists found 567 outdoor farms and greenhouses.

Most used water – totaling about 18 million gallons per year – diverted from an Eel River tributary, spawning ground for the endangered coho salmon.

Despite the state push toward decriminalizing marijuana, growers remain rogue and free from oversight.

They have graded mountaintops for greenhouses, illegally cut down trees and in one case poisoned dozens of a rare forest carnivore near Yosemite called a fisher. Scientists determined most had ingested rodenticide used by growers on pot plants.

Researchers are finding a potpourri of contaminants seeping into the watershed from marijuana farms, which are unregulated and largely operate in the shadows. Fungicides, fertilizers, diesel fuel, human waste, plant hormones and soil amendments are some of the others that are ravaging the environment.

Scientists suspect that runoff from potting soil and fertilizers, combined with lower-than-normal river flow due to water diversions, has resulted in a spate of toxic algae blooms in North Coast rivers over the past decade.

The cyanobacteria outbreaks threaten public health for swimmers and kill food that salmon and steelhead trout eat. Eleven dogs have died since 2001 after ingesting the blooms.

Growers are required to obtain permits to take water from a creek but Tony LaBanca, senior environmental scientist with the state Department of Fish and Game, told the Times that less than 1 percent of growers comply with the permits, usually only after an enforcement action.

Other research has shown other effects of the state’s marijuana crops – electricity use. A study in the journal Energy Policy estimated that indoor marijuana cultivation could be consuming nine percent of the state’s household electric power use.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Supervisor candidates file conflict-of-interest forms

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

Vacaville set to usher in new chapter for Police Department

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Solano Jews gather for start of Passover

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Suisun council debates train depot renovation

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
 
Trial begins for teacher accused of abusing children

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

Suisun police ID shooting victim

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
County discusses consolidated dispatch

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

Miner Slough Bridge to see repairs

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
 
 
‘Heaven is for Real’ opens Wednesday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B5

Fiesta Days pageant organizers seek contestants

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
Easter hunt set for Mare Island

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Coakley joins Solano fair board

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

Crews make quick work of vehicle fire

By Glen Faison | From Page: A6, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
Paper Clover Campaign supports Solano County 4-H

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Hundreds flock to Krispy Kreme as it opens doors

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
County to honor Solano educators

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A14

.

US / World

Officials: Huge San Francisco blaze was accidental

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
‘Shrimp Boy’ pleads not guilty in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Immigration activists urge Obama to act boldly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Congress is giving states the transportation blues

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Police: Suspects in killings wore GPS devices

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

DNA alternative to Pap smear sparks medical debate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Robot sub returns to water after 1st try cut short

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Supremacist faces murder charges in Kansas deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Ukraine: Military secures airport from attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Democrats have outside money advantage – for now

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
First women move into Army platoon artillery jobs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Final deadline arrives for health exchange sign-up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
New LA newspaper embraces print in digital world

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Hamas praises deadly West Bank shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
2 dead after ferry sinks off SKorean coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

.

Opinion

Expand Red Top Road

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13

 
Oh, for the days of Dr. Welby

By Dan K. Thomasson | From Page: A13, 9 Comments

 
Poor Judgement in Flight 370 column

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13

Senseless babble that hurts

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13

 
.

Living

What love gives you

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

Boston Globe wins Pulitzer for bombing coverage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Lindsay Lohan’s mom pleads guilty to DWI in NY

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Strahan’s ‘GMA’ side job confirmed with his visit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Sports

Indians shut out Mustangs

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cal hires Tennessee’s Cuonzo Martin as coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Warriors trying to move on without Andrew Bogut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Sharks’ Torres uncertain for playoff opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

MLB marks 67th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ex-Minnesota State, Mankato coach returning to job

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Panthers jump Sabres to win NHL draft lottery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
More former players sue NHL regarding concussions

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers sign WR Brandon Lloyd to 1-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Twitter buys data analytics partner Gnip

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Yellen signals more aggressive stance toward banks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Obituaries

Evonne Medina

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carolyn McClelland

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics