Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mad River Watershed worth 1/2 Billion in Cannabis revenue!

Scott Bauer, an environmental scientist with the Department of Fish and Game did a comprehensive study of the effects of Cannabis cultivation on the Mad River watershed and reported results to the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District. He identified pollutants as petroleum products, fertilizers and pesticides. Fish predominate in the watershed were identified as Coho and Chinook salmon, Steelhead and Cutthroat Trout. He used Google maps from 1998 to 2014 to measure changes in the landscape. A majority of the farms were on private property, much on Green Diamond lands.
The study found that there were 14,414 outdoor plants and 42,512 indoor plants in 438 greenhouses totaling 56,926 plants representing about $500,000,000. (Yes; a half of Billion Dollars!) It was estimated that 51,233,250 gallons were used a day for cultivation in 431 sites total. There has been a 170% increase of grows in the Mad River watershed from 2009 to 2014.
There are currently 41 permitted water diversions in the watershed. There has been no comprehensive water quality monitoring due to lack of funds. There was a discussion of “Team” efforts by different affected agencies. Maybe have the Mad River serve as a “Pilot Project” for permitting and monitoring. This is an opportune time to consider regulatory compliance in the form of a Humboldt County Land Use Ordinance to allow a permitting process to do things in order. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for covering this report by Bauer. I see the State Water Board will make the Redwood Creek watershed a trial watershed for new water permits they want growers to have.... stay tuned.

Liberal Jon said...

I still am wondering, is there an ethical/legal problem with being a lobbyist for Weed Inc. and at the same time being an elected official with oversight responsibilities. I personally think you are walking a very fine line here and this post is a perfect example of this.

Have you filled out, what is it, the 700 forms the FPPC requires for many elected officials since beginning your paid consulting with CCVH?

samoasoftball said...

I fill out my 700's in order for all of the organizations I represent.

Democratic Jon said...

What will be the direct and indirect costs of Weed Inc to the watershead and, importantly it's people. Costs that come to mind are. A) environmental -water, sedimentation, fertilizer/pesticide. B) increased policing to insure compliance with regs/taxes C) Immediate and long term social costs. Again, increased policing for property and violent crime which are sure to increase and the cost to the inherent difficulties such as keeping our children interest in non-weed activities such as education when there is an easy and fun buck to be made with maryjane.

What will the net revenue/loss be when we take the negatives into account? Or is that not something to worry about just yet.

samoasoftball said...

Jon: Our Ordinance will account for those issues. Check out tiny.cc/ccvh. Thanks for the input.

Democratic Jon said...

Have they (you all) come up with estimates for the costs? Pretty easy to type it here, shouldn't take but a few characters.

If the advocate can come up with an estimate of the long and short term costs, it will give us something to compare the seemingly inevitable future.

It's a good selling point to grab that number 5 with all those impressive following zeros, but conservatives like me on weed inc. want to know what will we get (tax revenues) and what the itemized estimates are for the public sector costs.

Glad to hear they are on this, look forward to your report on this. (Or more likely not.)

Democratic Jon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
samoasoftball said...

Jon: The net negative affects of the bad players in this industry is unmeasurable. We at CCVH are against trespass grows, water diversions, pesticides and poor land management practices. Our Ordinance will address these issues. I am trying to fix a problem, not just stick my head in the sand.

Democratic Jon said...

Funny how there is a large number for the revenues, not for the costs.

I guess that's one of the reasons we in HumCo keep getting ourselves caught in these exploitative resource extraction industries. Also, it's not just the "bad" players, it's an industry and all will be judged as one.