Marijuana Grows Cause Collateral Damage Across California – KHSL

Posted on: May 1st, 2012 by admin No Comments

It’s no secret that marijuana grows are prevalent in the North State and across California, and for law enforcement agencies, these gardens are becoming a growing problem for many reasons.

It might surprise you to learn that the department of Fish and Game is on the forefront of the fight. That’s because illegal marijuana grows pose a huge threat to plants and wildlife in the surrounding area.

Marijuana is often referred to as a harmless plant that grows naturally and harmoniously with the environment around it. But it appears that is just not the case, the Department of Fish and Game says marijuana and its growers as one of the biggest threats to our forests and our wildlife.

Wardens with the California Department of Fish and Game dedicate 25% of their year to marijuana eradication.

“This is all over, if you want to look at the illegal grows that we are finding on national forest and on private lands and everywhere else and large scale operations, they are all over the place,” said Warden Aaron Galwey.

Galwey say fish and game concerns itself with marijuana because cartel style grows pose a huge threat to streams, rivers, wildlife, and land.

“A lot of what we see is not this organically grown plan that is out there. it is a for profit industry that we find the woods that people are taking of the resource, being land, water and wildlife and destroying them for financial gain,” said Galwey.

Fertilizers pose one of the biggest threats. At a grow site in central Shasta County, water was pumped into a huge cistern where it was mixed with hundreds of pounds of fertilizer and then piped down to the marijuana plants.

“It’s a toxic goo that is created,” said Galwey.

“They apply this to the ground all over the acres and acres of cultivation sites, when it rains, all of that stuff seeps downhill and ultimately in the drainage. and what we will see in some places is you will see a fish kill or a huge algae bloom because all of this fertilizer gets dumped into the creek,” said Patrick Foy, a game warden based in Sacramento.

Another major threat comes from poachers who kill to protect their plants.

“The deer that come into the grow sites, they will eat the actual marijuana plants so the deer are shot and killed to prevent that from happening because they are literally eating the crop,” said Foy.

“We are finding areas in neighborhoods that are known strictly for marijuana growing where the deer herds have been decimated,” said Galwey.

Bears are also killed for getting into the growers foods.

Wardens say that animals are poached 100 percent of the time in cartel style grows.

There is also an immense amount of garbage left behind at the end of the growing season, but Fish and Game only has the resources to clean it up if it is on public land.

As for putting an end to cartels destruction of the environment, the Fish and Game says there is not much they can do but alerting the public is the first step in the battle.

The sad thing here is that these grows are extremely prevalent, especially in our part of the state. Marijuana grows perfectly in California’s climate so people flock here to make a quick buck, never considering the collateral damage.

See the article here: Marijuana Grows Cause Collateral Damage Across California – KHSL

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