More on Pot-Growing on Federal Lands

Here’s an article about the safety and environmental problems on the Mendocino. These sound like folks in desperate need of solutions. It seems like it should be highlighted as an important national issue. Do you think it has been? What do you think the FS should do?

1 thought on “More on Pot-Growing on Federal Lands”

  1. One of the things that kept me awake at night when I worked on the Mendocino was the fear that an an employee or visitor might be mistaken for a “pirate” and shot at by pot-growers. It never happened while I was there, although I and the lead forest law enforcement officer were once witnesses to a shoot-out between growers and deputy sheriffs. That worried me a lot more than concerns about environmental damage from the grows. While the growers often do make a mess, the Mendocino faces much greater risks to water quality and rare species from the miles of deteriorating system roads that are prone to failure during storm events.

    Dollars could be more effectively spent on maintaining needed roads and decommissioning unneeded roads than on staffing “welcome centers” that the cartels can easily circumvent. Without looking at a map, I can think of at least ten major access points into the Forest (and many more jeep trails). I suspect the checkpoints would be about as ineffective as the now abandoned $6.7 billion electronic Mexico border fence. Just think what a small portion of the money wasted on that fiasco could do to mitigate and prevent resource damage from the thousands of miles of deteriorating National Forest roads throughout the Country.

    The most effective solution to the marijuana “problem”will come at no cost to the tax-payers when the growing and use of marijuana is finally legalized. There will be little incentive to grow pot on public lands and some of the tax revenue from legal production could be dedicated to cleaning up existing grow sites and addressing more serious environmental issues on public lands.

    Jim Fenwood

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