Char Miller on Forests Going to Pot

Check this essay out- here’s a quote:

The concentrated effort to stop this despoliation has led the local, state, and federal agents engaged in this oft-dangerous work to refer to themselves as the Thin Green Line. They do not see their actions simply as a piece of the controversial War on Drugs, but as a battle to protect and preserve imperiled landscapes. Yet there is not enough money or labor to do this critical rehab work. In 2010, volunteer restoration teams managed to reclaim 70 sites across the state, but more than 800 had been identified. Still, they and law enforcement do what they can.

Or, better, do what they feel they must. Lt. John Nores, Jr., of California’s Department of Fish and Game makes this case in War in the Woods: Combating the Marijuana Cartels on America’s Public Lands, a hyped-up if compelling account of the anguish he and his comrades feel at the end of each operation. Notwithstanding the book’s evocation of Vietnam–camouflaged strike forces slipping though a dense tangle wary of booby traps and stalking a well-armed enemy–it also advocates full restoration of the abused land.

Just before taking down an illegal dam that fed a major cultivation site along Bonjetti Creek in eastern face of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Nores muses:

“The creek water above the dam is clean, clear, and cold, just like a high-mountain trout stream in California’s Sierra Nevada. The surrounding ferns, grasses, and thick tree canopies above the creek are similarly pristine and beautiful….Standing here I have a hard time imagining that more than a million people are hustling around the San José area only a short distance from us, and yet these amazing natural areas are so close and provide so much to our environment and its wildlife species.”

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