How Changing Marijuana Laws May Affect California’s Water and Wildlife

Northern California has become the center of the state’s cannabis-growing industry, with inevitable environmental consequences. Will legalization and new regulations ease its impact or make the situation worse? IN NOVEMBER 2016, California legalized recreational marijuana. The decision, supported by 56 percent of the state’s voters, allows marijuana to be shared, traded, grown at home and smoked … Read more

Too Much Weed! Cannabis Applications Making Planning Staff Sick and Must Be Paused, Management Says

Senior staff with County of Humboldt’s planning and building department say that experienced planners are falling physically ill and preparing to flee the department due to the “untenable level of stress” placed on them by the county’s new commercial cannabis ordinance. They say that the amount of staff time sucked up by the ordinance has … Read more

'Fish, Flows and Marijuana Grows': Live-Blogging Senator McGuire's Hearing Examining Impacts of Marijuana Grows on State's Fisheries

“In our fourth year of this historic drought, we have to find ways to protect our fisheries from the impacts of the driest years on record, and the devastating impacts of rogue marijuana grows. The combination of the drought and rogue grows have resulted in unprecedented damage to our state’s watersheds, they have put endangered … Read more

California Cannabis Voice Humboldt Unveils Land Use Ordinance

This afternoon, with an impassioned presentation outside the Humboldt County Courthouse, leaders of the political action group California Cannabis Voice-Humboldt (CCVH) unveiled a proposed land use ordinance aimed at regulating marijuana cultivation throughout the county’s unincorporated areas. …local environmental leaders remain skeptical about the ordinance and the process through which it has developed. One of … Read more

Everyone's on Board with Regulation

“If you put marijuana on the agenda, they will come,” whispered the ghosts of old policy makers. And, lo, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board listened. At a packed meeting this afternoon, the board discussed its proposed regulations for Northern California cannabis cultivators. It was the second time this week, following the board … Read more

The Sixth Mass Extinction is Happening in Humboldt

And Big Weed seems nearly as concerned about the loss of coho salmon as the timber industry was. In the last EcoNews, I wrote about the new federal Recovery Plan for coho salmon, and its warning that water diversions and sediment impacts associated with the booming marijuana industry present grave threats to coho recovery in … Read more

State Water Board Comments on Sproul Creek Inspection

Article published on February 19, 2015 by Willits News By: Adrian Baumann Read online at Willits Nets Plans for the multi-agency task force, including the California Water Board and Department of Fish and Wildlife, aiming to regulate marijuana growing in the state continue to evolve. The task force conducted January inspections of marijuana grows on … Read more

Fish and Wildlife, Water Board, inspect marijuana grows, possible fines

Article published February 12, 2015 by Willits News By: Adrian Baumann Read online at Willits News A coalition of state and local government agencies, led by the State Water Board and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife inspected 15 marijuana farms in January along Sproul Creek in Humboldt County. The inspection tour was authorized … Read more

Coho Recovery Plan Addresses Marijuana-Related Impacts

A long-anticipated federal recovery plan for coho salmon in northwestern California and southwestern Oregon[1] was released in its final form this September. The plan says the continuing decline of the South Fork Eel River’s population of coho must be reversed, and the watershed’s runs recovered, to meet the Endangered Species Act’s  goal of protecting the … Read more

Rushing Pot Ordinance a Bad Idea

We could not agree more with the Times-Standard (“Get ready for legalization, or get ready to lose”) that it is high time for Humboldt to address the impacts of its marijuana industry through locally appropriate regulation. We are heartened by cannabis cultivators speaking out about serious damage to our rivers, forests, fish, and wildlife, and … Read more