Marijuana Crops in California Threaten Forests and Wildlife (New York Times)
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.
“In my career I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Stormer Feiler, a scientist with California’s North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. “Since 2007 the amount of unregulated activities has exploded.” He added, “They are grading the mountaintops now, so it affects the whole watershed below.”
Scott Bauer, of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, said, “I went out on a site yesterday where there was an active water diversion providing water to 15 different groups of people or individuals,” many of them growers. “The stream is going to dry up this year.”