Marijuana Crops Threaten Wildlife, Forests in California
And local and state jurisdictions’ ability to deal with the problem has been hobbled by, among other things, the drug’s murky legal status.
Marijuana growers acknowledge, reluctantly, what their antagonists in law enforcement have long maintained: like industrial logging before it, the booming business of marijuana is a threat to forests whose looming dark redwoods preside over vibrant ecosystems.
Hilltops have been leveled to make room for the crop. Bulldozers start landslides on erosion-prone mountainsides. Road and dam construction clogs some streams with dislodged soil. Others are bled dry by diversions. Little water is left for salmon whose populations have been decimated by logging.
And local and state jurisdictions’ ability to deal with the problem has been hobbled by, among other things, the drug’s murky legal status. It is approved by the state for medical uses but still illegal under federal law, leading to a patchwork of growers. Some operate within state rules, while others operate totally outside the law.
The environmental damage may not be as extensive as that caused by the 19th-century diking of the Humboldt estuary here, or 20th-century clear-cut logging, but the romantic outlaw drug has become a destructive juggernaut, experts agree.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
LATEST INFRASTRUCTURE & ENVIRONMENT HEADLINES
Blinded by Light Pollution4 days ago
San Francisco’s Rainbow Crosswalks4 days ago
What Can Cities Really Do About Climate Change?4 days ago
Washington, D.C., One Step Closer Toward a Soccer Stadium3 hours ago
Maryland Governor Approves of Fracking in his State3 hours ago
California's Earthquake Warning System Is Ready to Go20 hours ago