Friday, December 27, 2013

The Redwood Forests, Marijuana Cultivation and Logging

How are the redwoods? All protected? Not yet
Our Redwood Forests are not all in protected status and those that are in designated parks need protection from human impact.  Cumulative impacts by human activities have substantial effects. What are cumulative impacts? ”A cumulative impact is defined as: The impact on the environment which results from the incremental impact of the action when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what agency (Federal or non-Federal) or person undertakes such other actions. Cumulative impacts can result from individually minor but collectively significant actions taking place over a period of time.” (40 CFR 1508.7) Northwest Envtl. Def. Ctr. v. Nat'l Marine Fisheries Serv., 647 F. Supp. 2d 1221, 1244 (D. Or. 2009)

Logging is still ongoing and still taking a toll on our forest ecosystems, wildlife, and watersheds. Much of our remaining Redwood Forest is on privately held corporate lands.
Contemporary forest practices, including grading and building of logging roads and the narrowing of forested buffers, have altered prime habitat for many species. Our Redwood “rainforests” forests have been reduced to 2-3 percent of the original old growth that once existed.  Many former clearcuts that I have visited within the redwood Region of California have been altered forever and have not recovered from the damage.

The northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet, the salmon, various species of amphibians, and other resident species are depending upon on all of us for protection of their remaining habitat and the ecosystems that are the life support for these species.

 15,582.6 miles of California Rivers and Streams are threatened by Silviculture (Forestry) and 10,308.0 miles are threatened by Forest Roads (Road Construction and Use) (source: data cycle: California Water Quality Assessment Report 2010).

The increase of marijuana cultivation has brought into the mix further harm to our forests.  Planting and terracing have resulted in deforestation and habitat fragmentation. Grading, terracing, damming streams, and road construction without permits, has led to the erosion and sediment deposits further degrading streams. 

A Department of Fish and Wildlife study of two small watersheds in Humboldt County using aerial imagery indicates that the number of acres devoted to marijuana growing almost doubled from 2009 to 2012, with an estimated 550 individual growing operations. 

Mendocino County is also fighting back  at the damage caused by Marijuana cultivation.
In KQED’s California Report web article, Mendocino County, Sheriff Tom Allman said, “people disagree about marijuana: its legalization, its medical use, and how it's grown.  These illegal gardens on forest land, however, should unite disparate groups… No matter where you stand on medical marijuana, I think we can come together on this," he said.  "This is one area of commonality we have to focus on." - See more at:

Forestry and marijuana cultivation continue to be a great concern when many of our remaining Redwood Region’s rivers and streams have been declared "impaired," under Section 305b of the Federal Clean Water Act.

This is not at all an issue about pros or cons of legalizing marijuana or letting forest practices continue unchanged. 

What would the Lorax do? 
Unless someone cares, human exploitation of the Redwood Forests continues. This exploitation is unjustified. Do Think about this and then help create a solution.



No comments: