Home > environment > Outdoor pot farms killing wildlife with rat poison

Outdoor pot farms killing wildlife with rat poison


  1. Ponder z
    July 15, 2012 at 6:54 am

    nothing new here. Been going on for 35 years. Other interesting things happening are the watershed effects. Notice how the Eel is full of algae and moss by the end of July? This is definitely a man made effect on the environment. Even you organic growers have residual runoff of your organic, natural, high nitrogen amendments. So you are guilty of destroying the Eel, and Mattole rivers.

  2. Gil Yule
    July 15, 2012 at 7:01 am

    Yet another argument for legalization.

  3. Ponder z
    July 15, 2012 at 7:17 am

    how will legalization stop environmental contamination? It may get some of the growers out of the woods, but not all. It will take years for the runoff to deplete and the poisons to neutralize.

  4. July 15, 2012 at 7:20 am

    What Gil said.

  5. Walt
    July 15, 2012 at 8:00 am

    I think the argument is, if it were legal, the good folks at RJ Reynolds would start growing in township-sized plots in Iowa, drop the price to $20/oz, and drive the home-renter growers and state forest growers out of business. Of course the folks making scads of money off the status quo own the politicians, so it will never be legalized. Vaya con Dios, fishers!

  6. Little Buddha
    July 15, 2012 at 8:19 am

    The LIttle Buddha has grown cannabis for over 30 years and never used rat poison or poison of any kind. Ever. Rats are rarely a problem, at least not one you treat with rat poison. Seems like pot growers have now become the new whipping post. Like the stories about how indoor growers are using tons of electricity. Yeah, except when you find out your local tire shop uses more electricity than a large indoor grow. What small business uses no electricity? Of course there are illegal grows by bad guys polluting our parks, but are those the growers you know?

    Like suggested earlier, yet another reason to legalize it. That’s my view.

  7. Ponder z
    July 15, 2012 at 9:08 am

    LB, you are high. Check your facts. Small business may use power, some use lots, but they all PAY for it at full price. They dont get subsidised rates because they have “no” income, therefore making everyone else pay for their use.

    If you grow outside and fertilize with organic compost, you are putting high nitrogen concentrations into the ecosystem. It all runs down hill. Thanks for destroying my fishing habitat, assclown.

  8. Anonymous
    July 15, 2012 at 9:19 am

    While I agree that most of the problems associated with pot would be reduced by legalization, LB’s post is nothing but nonsense. Rats do chew up pot plants and growers do poison them along with other carnivorous creatures who eat the bait intended for rats. Using the example of tire shops energy use to justify pot growing energy use is ludicrous on every level. Tire shops are a legal business providing a necessary service and they don’t get reduced rates subsidized by full rate paying energy users because they don’t cheat on their taxes by not reporting income and claim poverty like so many indoor growers do. They also don’t blow up transformers because their energy use is expected and planned for by PG&E.

  9. Anonymous
    July 15, 2012 at 10:01 am

    growers should stop the poisoning of wildlife straight away!

  10. HUUFC
    July 15, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Yawn, now it’s a problem?

  11. 69er
    July 15, 2012 at 10:45 am

    No, HUUFC,it has always been a problem, it is just now being brought to light by someone of credibility. Now the idiot defenders are crawling out of the woodwork once more. LB’s post is nothing short of BS and he knows it or he has a screw loose form too much smoke.

  12. Anon
    July 15, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Local tire shop uses more than an indoor grow? I hope so.That has got to be one of the most stupid comments yet.

  13. tra
    July 15, 2012 at 11:53 am

    It’s true that this problem is an artifact of prohibition, and I have no doubt that full legalization would swiftly end the practice of growing cannabis in our national forests and other public lands, and in remote privately-owned timberlands. Nobody’s growing tomatoes, or for that matter hops or tobacco, out in the middle of the wilderness.

    But it seems clear that full legalization is not going to happen in the short-term, which means that we’re stuck having to deal with these kinds of pollution problems in remote areas in the meantime. It’s a very thorny problem, no easy answers.

    And compounding the problem is the Feds current campaign against medical marijuana dispensaries, growers, and cities and counties that are trying to move cultivation and distribution out of the shadows and into a situation where environmental impacts and social costs can be minimized and mitigated, and some of the tremendous revenues involved can be taxed to help support these efforts. Nope, we can’t have responsible growing going on right out in the open, because that would pull the rug out from under the Feds’ message that cannabis cultivation is an inherently harmful, dangerous, anti-social activity, and that eradication is therefore the only logical approach.

    When the Feds went after Northstone Organics, and effectively destroyed Mendecino’s ability to regulate outdoor cannabis growing through its zip-tie program, and started threatening local elected officials with criminal charges for daring to try to create local regulations aimed at reducing negative impacts to local communities, the message they sent was clear: The prohibition-industrial complex would much prefer dealing with huge, messy, remote and totally unregulated grows on public lands, which paint a simple black-and-white picture of cannabis cultivation as an ecologically destructive organized-crime-cartel-related monstrosity, rather than risk having the public see for themselves that cannabis can be farmed safely, responsibly and beneficially, out in the open, on private farms, when that is allowed.

    In essence the Feds have been following a classic strategy of deliberately making the problems worse, so that they can justify the need for more funding for their hopelessly ineffective — but highly lucrative — eradication campaigns.

  14. Ponder z
    July 15, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    very easy answer. Big fine if you get caught destroying the ecosystem. $500,000 fine 10 years in prison. This includes runoff of fertilizer and fuel.

  15. Ponder z
    July 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    So do your part and report growers!

  16. Curley
    July 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    No comment from anyone at EPIC?

  17. Anonymous
  18. tra
    July 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    The problem with your plan, Ponder Z, is that they rarely “catch” anyone at these giant grows out in the national forests and other remote areas. And on the rare occasions that they do catch anyone, it’s always just a few low-level grunts, not the people at the top who are making millions. Those people never set foot anywhere near their operations, and have probably insulated themselves with many, many layers of underlings and middle-men.

    Cutting down the plants is fairly easy, and even if they’re only getting 1% of what’s out there, this still makes for big, impressive numbers to put in the reports. By contrast, doing the kind of in-depth investigation it would take to find out who is really behind each grow, developing enough evidence to put those people on trial, finding and arresting and prosecuting those people — that’s a much harder, more expensive, and more time-consuming job.

    In that respect, it’s the same old problem — the water may be way over there, but, hey, it’s so much easier to dig the well over here. O.K., so the well turned out to be bone dry, but if you get paid to keep digging wells, regardless of whether you ever hit water, then your incentive is to just keep digging where it’s easy.

  19. Eric Kirk
    July 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    No comment from anyone at EPIC?

    EPIC takes plenty of flack from growers for its positions. On KMUD one individual called the HumCPR show to advocate a boycott of what he sarcastically referred to as “our beloved EPIC.” At least a few of the growers view EPIC as having become another “urban boutique” environmental organization. EPIC does its part.

  20. Sinsemilla
    July 15, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    So, Eric, what has EPIC done to address the problems caused to our environment by the pot growers and homesteaders?

  21. Eric Kirk
    July 15, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Advocated watershed planning proposals, some of which found their way into “Plan A,” and advocated the formation of a committee specifically to investigate the nexus between homestead land use and river decline.

    I don’t know if the organization itself took a stand, but individuals involved with EPIC favored the moratorium on TPZ development during the Pacific Lumber bankruptcy proceedings, which earned them considerable flack from homesteaders who saw the moratorium as an attack on their own interests.

    If they determine that the General Plan Update does not meet state law requirements, they will probably file suit. Nothing is ripe just yet, but whatever passes under the present majority, if anything, will probably be changed by the incoming majority, which of course includes Estelle who is supported by the majority of homesteaders.
    The Arcata/Sohum divide will probably be aggravated long before it gets better.

  22. Eddy Torilus
    July 15, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    When I first moved here decades ago, my landlord was a local who thought nothing of putting rat poison within 20 yards uphill of the spring box that supplied the drinking water for his 10 tenants. Nor did he mind using guns to defend his moneymaking endeavors. In that same decade local timber “barons” hired many a Mexican to squirt herbicides on tree trunks to girdle the tree to kill it. Little or no care was given to these workers. One descendant of a prominent local family watched her fish die in her pond from the herbicide run-off above her home. Her death, and her son’s death from cancer were directly associated with the spraying in the eyes of many in Sohum. When Nixon banned, but did not recall supplies of coyote poison (don’t recall the name) in the early ’70’s, many a sheep rancher howled. And don’t get me going about the poisonning of the US food supply by agribiz. My point is that there are many who think nothing of irresponsibly poisoning to protect their financial profit. AND THEY SUCK. ( to state the obvious)
    That there is ecological damage from the massive grows that are currently far too common is a fact. Many people will do anything to make money and that is a human flaw, whether it be grower or banker. The vast majority of growers don’t use rat poison.
    On a scale of ecologic damage I am personally more concerned about the diversion of springs and feeder streams, particularly this year when greedy growing expansion is rampant.
    Not to say that runoff nitrates aren’t a factor in some areas of the rivers, but the water testing at Garberville and monthly reports show no extra nitrates whatsoever, I assume that Redway is the same.
    And when you look at summer water levels in the Eel you must remember that you are also looking at changing levels of gravel from year to year. Winter before last a lot of gravel moved and raised the bed of the Southfork, that is why it fell so precipitously last summer in mid-July despite good winter rains. I talk to hydrologists. This years bad news is the rate of flow in the river, down to like a foot a second from a number in the teens. We are lucky not to have had much heat so far or the algafication would be upon us already.

  23. Sinsemella
    July 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm


  24. Tastes Like Chicken
    July 15, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    EPIC only gets involved when there is money to be made. After all, they need to finance those kayaking excursions to Costa Rica, that their lawyers are so fond of. EPIC is a scam, a very expensive scam. CATS (Citizens Against Toxic Sprays) is another scam outfit. When the citizens of Blue Lake were fighting Ultrapower, to prevent them from burning tires to make electricity, operatives from CATS showed up at one of our earliest strategy meetings. They began photographing everyone in attendance. When I asked our host who these people were and why they were taking photos, I was told that they were from EPIC, and that they used the photos for fund raising purposes. They even brought along their own lawyer, who wanted us all to sign a contract naming CATS are our official reps, and agreeing to pay their fees if they were unsuccessful at shaking down Ultrapower. Their attempt to hijack our grass-roots effort failed. We proceeded without their unsought assistance, and, the little town that could, beat Ultrapower, without lawyers or eco-parasites.

  25. Tastes Like Chicken
    July 15, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Edit: “..I was told that they were from CATS..” not EPIC. Sorry ’bout that.

  26. Anonymous
    July 16, 2012 at 10:20 am

    very easy answer. Big fine if you get caught destroying the ecosystem. $500,000 fine 10 years in prison. This includes runoff of fertilizer and fuel.

    Great idea. I suggest we begin with timber companies. Maxam did huge damage to ecosystems. Let the fines and jail sentence begin. Simpson Timber is next. Changing your name does not stop the criminal activity – destroying ecosystems is a crime. Let’s start prosecuting those who do it.

    Of course, Ponder Z and HUUFC are all for prosecuting timber companies. If they were not for it they would be hypocrites. Right?

  27. steak n eggs
    July 16, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Heraldo, you’re out of line. This is not a problem until EPIC says so. Once there are some deep pockets to go after, then it becomes newsworthy and a “problem”. Remember, we are still trying to focus on the task at hand…the impending environmental disaster at Richardson Grove. No get back in there and fight!

  28. Anonymous
    July 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    It’s odd that when the left complains about something that isn’t being addressed by every environmental organization, the right tries to distract by attacking environmental organizations which aren’t fighting every problem all the time. Resources are limited so focus must be on issues that don’t deplete resources without results. Even leftist / environmentalists have a choice of what hill they are willing to die on.

  29. Sinsemella
    July 16, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Sorry, leftist/environmentalists sometimes choose to go after who has the easy money, at least with respect to EPIC. Witness devastation in the Eel and Mattole with no EPIC interest.

  30. Anonymous
    July 16, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    They can’t be everywhere all the time Sincemella. Going after people who can’t be held responsible for their cumulative damage when there are corporations that can be doesn’t make a lot of sense from environmentally or economically.

  31. anon_pleasure@yahoo.com
    July 17, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Trolls don’t really pay any attention to what EPIC or any other local enviro group is really working on anyhow, because it is easier to talk smack about local issues than to do anything about them. http://archive.kmud.org/m3u.php?mp3fil=40706

  32. scooter
    July 17, 2012 at 6:54 am

    Back to the topic at hand. . . . Anyone who purchases rat poison for ANY reason is an ignorant city f**k who doesn’t care about animals, any animals, at all. This crap kills cats and dogs and birds on a daily basis. Its sold in every grocery store and feed store in the country and it is hiding under your sink or in your garage. A lowly rat is not worth the risk of letting this stuff loose in any environment. Buy traps.

  33. Eric Kirk
    July 17, 2012 at 9:24 am

    “If you’re gonna shoot rats, you’ve gotta shoot straight.”

    -Richard Nixon

  34. JB
    July 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

    As a longtime Humboldtian, I have often thought the image of the enviro-rasta dope grower hypocritical and just plain stupid. Indoor growers use mass amounts of subsidized energy and outdoor growers pollute our environment. In both cases, they do it for greed plain and simple. While their outspoken political leanings suggest they are progressive their actions speak otherwise. Real progressives need to take action. It’s okay to smoke and grow your small plot. However, to those who ruin our environment for money, say fuck you just like we say to the big oil companies. Let’s stop protecting the dope growing culture because we think it is cool and it has become our identity. The next indoor grower you see, ask them how much electricity they’re using to grow a plant indoors and how much sense that makes. Mention that this is greed on a smaller scale of what Chevron does. The next guy you see with the rasta colors in the back of his Dodge 3/4 ton diesel out in SoHum, tell him that what he is doing is more inline with the thinking of the Republicans money at all costs and not at all in-line with the thinking of true progressives. Go ahead and give up the charade of being a hippy.

  35. tra
    July 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm
  36. tra
    July 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm


    Not all outdoor growers are doing real damage to the environment, just those who are lazy and/or lack good organic gardening skills. Unfortunately, there are quite a few that do fit that description, and many of those who are lazy and/or ignorant are just in it for the quick money and don’t give a rip about the environment. Of course that latter part is just as true of lots of people who are non-growers, too.

    The question is, how do you prevent pollution and hold polluters responsible? So far prohibition has been a complete and utter failure, as it pushes some cultivation either indoors (with all the unnecessary energy use that entails), and it pushes some outdoor cultivation out into remote areas, including huge sloppy grows out on public lands and on remote private timber lands.

    It seems pretty obvious that the ideal thing is for cannabis to be grown either by the individual user, or by competent farmers, on farms, in the sun and soil, and without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. No need to use indoor residential or commercial space for something that thrives outdoors in our climate. And no need to plant it way out in the middle of a wilderness area, diverting water willy-nilly, poisoning the wildlife and generally trashing the site.

    The only reason we have either of those problems is because cannabis Prohibition has created the incentives to hide this plant indoors or in remote areas. Of course the most logical approach would be to fully legalize cannabis, making it unnecessary for anyone to hide it, and dropping the price to the point where it’s more like any other farm product.

    But since it seems unlikely that we’ll see an end to Prohibition (at least at the federal level) anytime soon, we’re stuck with trying to find policies that can at least partially ameliorate the perverse incentives created by Prohibition. The efforts to crack down on growers who exploit the CARE electric-subsidy program, and the proposal in Arcata to tax high levels of energy use in residential areas, are both examples of how the local community is trying to disincentive wasteful indoor growing. And I guess you could say that the busts of huge, sloppy grows out in remote areas are, at least in theory, a way to try to disincentive that behavior. I’m not sure that in either case these strategies are going to have much success, but I haven’t heard many ideas as to what additional or alternative strategies should be tried.

  37. Fred Up
    July 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Drone guided greenhouse-buster pollen “bombs”? Helicopter spray the pollen over the cities so intake fans suck it into rooms. C’mon, if they can spray mosquito poison from choppers and kill innocents with drones… why not?

  38. The End
    July 17, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Sinsemella said: “So, Eric, what has EPIC done to address the problems caused to our environment by the pot growers and homesteaders?”

    Sinsemella, change your tag to stupid-mea. You have earned the title.

    Apparently you think EPIC is responsible for enforcing laws. Have you heard about the Department of Fish and Game, the Water Resource Control Board, the U.S. Forest Service, the county sheriff’s department? These are the agencies you should be asking to address the problems because they are the people we PAY to enforce the law.

    Sin, HUF, Eggs, and the rest of you ignorant trolls – what have YOU done to address the problem? Do you have enough intelligence to make a phone call or write a letter to the responsible agencies? No. You claim to care, but you just can’t get a grip on reality.

    Are you growing on public land and using pesticides? Is that why you don’t / won’t address the problem and demand that agencies take responsibility and go after law breakers?

    I notice this blog has lost its spark. The dullards have taken over and it has become very boring and low brow. All the smart people have found other outlets. Oh well. All good things come to an end.

  39. Stupid-mea
    July 17, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    My only friend, the End, you are so certain, yet so wrong. EPIC is willing to take on CalTrans, PALCO, etc., anybody with money but without semi-auto’s. Clearly, EPIC chooses to zero in on those laws which will be of benefit to EPIC and which won’t. Frankly, Richardson Grove is the least of our legion of troubles, yet that is the focus. Again, the question is relevant, what has EPIC done to address the problems caused to our environment by the major devastators; the pot growers and homesteaders?

    I say, jack sh^%t, but what do I know, I’m an ignorant troll.

  40. Anonymous
    July 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    There was lot’s of coverage about what local enviros are doing concerning these issues on KMUD last night. Listen to the news and the interview with EPIC (http://archive.kmud.org/m3u.php?mp3fil=42670) and then listen to the Environment Show with Friends of the Eel and Mattole Restoration Council (http://archive.kmud.org/m3u.php?mp3fil=42672). It is so much easier to ignore or belittle what these groups are doing on a wide diversity of issues (it is the local media’s fault that the only issue that seems to get any coverage is RG), and throw troll smack at them, than to get involved.

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