The following is a letter to the editor, published here as opinion. The opinions expressed in this letter are those of the writer. If you would like to submit a letter to the editor feel free to write to [email protected].
In my opinion the aesthetic beauty of our forest and rivers is made ugly, by pot grows. Squares and rows of forest are gone. Tent structures and water diversion, is distracting from the natural perfection that is Mendocino county. And all over the world most people would consider our redwoods, firs and oaks, our oceans and lakes, a treasure, to be saved and guarded from harm. Fertilizers, grading, and equipment. Pot is just a plant. Hype is for sales and money. Salmon is sacred. Deer are graceful. All of nature, needs water to exist and water sheds preserved, in their natural form and function, to spawn growth and sustain the health of ecosystems. Wildlife and pristine nature, is priceless. Let’s not take it all for granted.
The preceding article was an opinion column, or letter to the editor, and the opinions expressed therein are the author’s, not those of The Mendocino Voice. It was not necessarily edited for punctuation, capitalization, spelling etc. While, we reserve the right to copyedit and fact-check opinion pieces, and letters to the editor — and to annotate such pieces with fact-checking — we do not habitually do so.
I’d like to know what she thinks of the wine industry & the large vineyards of Mendocino county. I suppose those are not a problem for the environment for some reason? Please explain.
I would assume Mrs Lair finds the environmental degradation devastating. But what does the lightly regulated wine industry and its destruction to waterways and land in our county have to do with Cannabis which is the most environmentally regulated crop in the world. Cannabis is commercial not agricultural, under the letter of the law. As a cannabis farmer I do not want our cannabis industry to be able to farm in the manner the wine industry does. Are you saying you want cannabis farms to be grown like the wine industry. Please explain.
Dear Mrs. Lair,
As a licenced Cannabis farmer I agree with most of what you are saying. As a second generation back to the lander who has grown in 6 different decades I never cut down a tree. When I was young and full of piss and vinegar I did fight my dad over the issue. He let me pull the tops of small trees with ropes for a couple months then I had to release them. In 1980 when the helicopters came I sure was happy we didn’t cut trees. I just had to cut ropes and the trees covered the crop. Over time we started to see people moving into our community that were not back to the landers and did not respect the environment or the plant as medicine. We pulled away from these people because we did not feel comfortable around them. When you produce medicine you get pulled into being a caretaker, which puts a lot of important priorities on the back burner. As a community we became consumed with having medicine that was clean and tested. We did speak up about the environment but not strong enough, it should have been given the same priority as clean medicine. But let’s not forget we were fighting for medicine and when we addressed environmental issues it was a fight too. My earliest recollection of fighting for the issue was with Tony Cravers before he became Sheriff of the county. It was in regards to a group of growers up big river that were using poison and 5 of them raped a girl on Big River. He would do nothing because it was private timberland and not his responsibility to patrol private land. His relationship was frayed with the timber land owners from Redwood Summer. And the timber industry was shrinking at the local level and the timber employees were the one who had the keys to the gates to put in the massive grows. As a community we did not have the strength to fight the sheriff and the timber industry. For over 20 years they still grew up Big River until Alman took action and changed his eradication protocols from 100% ineffective to 100% effective. This was done by changing their schedule by 6 hours. When you greet a criminal before he wakes up he will come out of his tent armed. They killed 5 growers that year at 5 different locations. Word got around, things changed. This is how they did it in the 70s. In 1980 Operation Sinsemilla was aggressive but when it turned into CAMP it was a joke. I fully support Allman dispatching the growers. So law enforcement created a safe environment for growers for decades and the big horrible grading we see in pictures is for the most part in Humboldt because they allowed larger farms than Mendocino and the forestry department handed out 3 acre timber conversion permits out like candy without review.
Being isolated from the new carpetbagger growers I didn’t realize it was so bad. I have big issues with Prop 64 but I support it because of its strict environmental rules and it’s mandatory testing of products. As for your issue of timberland. Don’t worry no trees will be cut down and if any trees were to show up being cut down for cannabis production they will not get a licence. You will be happy to know a lot of cannabis farmers have purchased timberland years ago and have not harvested and let the other tree species grow too. The oaks, madron, fir, bay laurel grow and die quickly and become food for the redwood trees. So we are getting pockets of healthy forests with larger trees instead of hack and squirt mono cropping and harvesting immature trees. All this is done by using the forest as a forest farm which is the most efficient way to farm. It will not feed the world but it is the most efficient way to farm. You are right about fertilizers. There should be no salt fertilizers in our forest lands. The cannabis dollars subsidized the timberland so they did not have to harvest trees. The forest farms can grow in a regenerative manner. You don’t see crop dusters putting down fertilizer to grow a forest. It is a complete system all on its own. Most importantly I want you to realize I share your concerns in regards to protecting our community and environment. I have been and will continue to lock horns with anyone who hurts our community and environment. And I am not alone in the cannabis industry. Cannabis is legal. Like it or not big players from out of the area are here now and more a circling like vultures. As a community we should not become divided on an issue that we cannot win because it is now legal. Big corporations have the letter of the law behind them so we have a big fight. We need to join together as a community and stand hand in hand on the issue of community safety and environment. We see how the big out of town timber companies do not care about the community and the long term health of our forests, let’s not have the same thing happen with cannabis.
I have seen ugly trashy Cannabis grows and wreckage of Timber Harvests. Let look at the cumulative impact from Vineyards, Cannabis grows and THP’s. Land is limited but unchecked greed is not. All have a responsibility somehow.