As the Green Rush Explodes in Rural Neighborhoods, Conflicts Grow and a Community Calls a Meeting

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A marijuana garden in the Willow Creek area in 2015 had over 1400 plants on excavated flats. Large grows like these worry rural communities in Humboldt. [Photo provided by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.]

Rural watersheds across the Emerald Counties feel the strain as the Green Rush has exploded this last decade. Marijuana gardens are growing bigger and more remote properties are converting to cannabis farms. Pam Walker, a dispatcher for Southern Trinity Area Rescue and a resident of the Bridgeville area, along with many other residents, wants to understand how to deal with a host of new problems.

On Thursday, June 30 at 1 p.m. at Bridgeville Community Center, Walker has invited local residents to meet with Supervisor Estelle Fennell, a member of the Humboldt County Planning Department, a representative from Fish and Wildlife, a Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputy and someone from the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board.

This is not an anti-cannabis meeting. In fact, I wish it would legalize….I’ve never been upset about people growing pot,” Walker said, “but it’s just like it’s the Wild West now. There’s no laws.” She worries that the new County regulations for medical marijuana are going to increase the confusion and further impact the lives of those who have lived in the area for years.

Larabee Valley property, marijuana, Friends of the Eel River

A Larabee Valley property that concerns neighbors. [Photo provided by Friends of the Eel River.]

Walker described seeing what she called “a big grow” being built in the Larrabee Valley. “They said they had been permitted…But none of those permits have been okayed yet….They bulldozed in big flats….They are pulling all the water. Is that going to affect our water?”

After that, the community decided to ask for clarification on what the new county medical marijuana rules meant for them. “We talked with other neighbors and contacted Estelle Fennel,” she explained.

Walker said that she is worried about losing a way of life. “Most people who came out years ago came out for the peace and quiet but now we have super big glows from the greenhouses and the sound of generators at three in morning,” she pointed out. Other concerns that she and her neighbors have include increased traffic by drivers inexperienced on narrow country roads, unrestrained dogs that kill cattle, chickens and pets, as well as loss of families who are committed to their community. (A complete agenda is at the bottom of this article.) The growers moving into the area to take advantage of the Green Rush aren’t families with roots in the area, Walker said.

“This has really impacted our school,” she explained. “Our enrollment has really dropped….Families can’t really afford to buy land… .”

The environment is also another big concern. The Green Rush is only the latest in a series of economic booms that have busted after damaging the land around her, she said. “I’ve lived up here for 40 years,” she explained. “It seemed like our hills were recovering a bit from the abuse of logging and now we’re seeing the abuse come back. When [the Green Rush] busts, I don’t know if our land can recover from it.”

But. perhaps, most importantly, she worried about increasing violence. “A young man was beat up here for trying to use water that his family had used for years. He was told by the growers that he couldn’t use it anymore.”

The Green Rush, she said, should not be able to destroy a way of life. “I think it should not be to the detriment of the environment and the people who are living out there,” she stated.

The coming meeting with government officials is an attempt to get some answers on how to deal with her new neighbors. “We’ll have some questions answered about how things will be enforced,” she explained. “These guys have enough money that they don’t care about fines…They just pay but that doesn’t help our environment.”

—————————————–
  Agenda of issues to be addressed at the meeting Thursday:
I. water usage
   a. permitting large grows using huge quantities of water
   b. how do residents protect their water
   c. what do we do if our water runs dry because of over use by large grows
   d. what are our recourses  when some one above you bulldozes huge flats and totally ruins your water shed and creek
 II. Planning Dept rules
   a. is it okay to move vast quantities of earth without permits, who makes sure its done right and will not affect the water shed
   b. is it okay to bulldoze trees down and use them and dirt as a base for a growing flat
   c. what is in place for enforcement on these large grows other than just fining them
  III. Fish and Wildlife, environmental degradation
      a.vast amounts of earth being moved without regard to seasonal creeks or year round creeks
      b.dog packs running down wildlife
      c. over use of fertilizer (whether its organic or not ) running into the watershed
      d.the illegal and misuse of poisons, pesticides, fungicides
      f. what happens to all the soil that growers replace every year
      g. garbage dumps on the property containing all the above and human waste
  IV. Resident Deputy and law enforcement
      a. people shooting off guns, big guns and sometimes rapid fire guns, in the middle of the night
      b. shooting guns right next to our elementary school
      c. loud generators running all night
      d. stock being killed or maimed by loose dogs
      e. residents getting beat up over water
   V. Highway 36
      a. due to the increase of traffic caused by all the grow farms there has been an increase of traffic accidents, in fact it is darn terrifying to drive this road. trucks are passing other cars on double yellow blind curves, people driving so fast they can not stay in their own lane, semi trucks full of dirt bags don’t stay on their side of the road.

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78 comments

  • EXACTLY……

  • Very well said.

  • It will be very interesting to see what Estelle has to say.. Enfocement, both from law enforcement and from code enforcement has been virtually non-existant.. Fish and Wildlife has also been notably absent.. Not true in Mendocino County.. Lax enforcement has hugely encouraged the green rushers..

    • Estelle will go to the meeting and feign concern and nothing will be done. The REGULATION part of legalize and regulate has been ignored. I don’t know of one neighborhood that hasn’t been negatively affected. The sheriff says there is no money to regulate. How about a 1/2 cent tax solely for the purpose of greenrush regulation? I would gladly pay it.

      • sharpen your pencil

        She’s just going for that re-election. She gives less shits about what’s going on out there than anyone wants to believe. Watching her speak is like watching hilary, sure trying to hide a lot of crazy and personal agenda behind those creepy smiles!

  • I’ve been in trinity my whole adult life.All my neighbors grow.Growers aren’t using up the water.Theres non growers up here watering huge fields and non growers running hydro power.I know 2 properties that use massive amounts of water to water his camp ground and hay fields all day every day even at the peak of the drought.I see more pollution coming from road construction,gas,and oil getting into riverfrom 299highway wash.I see rainbows of oil coming off the highway and it goes right into the river…most growers I know are upgrading thier properties.Trinity Pines,Trinity Center,Trinity Village, we’re all made by bull dozer messing up the land.it was ok then.but the only people who would buy this tore up land was growers.people complain but non grower generations before us destroyed this place and we are making it nice again…..wanna save the water? go after corporations taking all our water.how come no one hates on them?

    • Agreed, local people are gonna miss all the money and the dinsmore store will for sure close along with every other store that’s mom and pops owned, but hey Atleast we got Walmart right?

      • sharpen your pencil

        [Edit] Depending on the grow, your using a minimum of 10,000 gallons of water a week. That has to come from somewhere, and it isn’t your hopes and dreams. You multiply that by the thousands of grows off 36 and you get, HELL YES the growers are using the water! Almost none of these growtards store water, they are too busy out of town or partying their ass off once season ends.

        [Edit] Just the same as all [Edit] asshats using illegal pesticides!

        • You dont have much room to say who is dumb or not. You don’t even know the dmv rules of the road. Don’t u have distracted people to honk at and cause and accident, you will pay for?

          DMV handbook pg50

          • sharpen your pencil

            I do love how you [Edit]want to point out a guideline, while you are breaking one yourself in being distracted on the road. I would love to hear that defense. “I was swerving down the road when someone honked at me because I was distracted by my Facebook updates, so I drove off the road and hit a tree, it’s all their fault!”

            • I never said i was on my cell or defending the cell phone drivers. Do you need to retake an english class?

              An innocent bystander walking in the crosswalk. You honk at distracted cell driver, they panic, they swerve, hitting you or anyone else around in the vicinity. A pedestrian in the crosswalk maybe. THATS WHY DMV SAYS DONT HONK!

              Im defending the innocent people around u not the distracted cell driver. U 2 are not the only ones there! Anyone else around is at danger of the both of you.

              Also in reply to your changed story. “I was swerving down the road when someone honked at me because I was distracted by my Facebook updates, so I drove off the road and hit a tree, it’s all their fault!”
              You now say if they were swerving. Then yes you can honk cause they were swerving into your lane, this makes them at fault 1st but if they were not swerving and not turning into your lane and you honk and they get startled and crash, then yes its your fault 1st and you pay.

              PS. HEY KYM, How bout you do an article bout basic rules of the road. Some of your readers seem to be encouraging others to honk at distracted drivers, thus adding more danger than just the cell phones.

              DMV pg50
              When to use horn and when not to use horn

          • Lol ur cute. Don’t like being wrong? Was just correcting you.

            Your opinion was funny considering a few articles back you were spouting, you honk at distracted drivers. DMV says don’t do that, you might cause an accident. A wrong against another wrong does not make u right, your endangering other people on the road just as much as the distracted cell phone driver.

            So no, not a troll, just a realtime correction my friend.

            Also, thats a long way to my ma”s basement. She’d probably wonder y i was there, considering moved 30yrs ago.

        • 10,000 per week? Did you pull that straight from your a$$ or is that how much you use? That is a lot and anyone using that much or more is on the bigger side of things

      • Dinsmore store had been around for a long time before this most recent influx of cannabis growers and did very well with the community’s support, I don’t think it would fold without the large growers, it just might have to change the focus of it’s sales, maybe not so many pallets dirt, and go back to affordable groceries, hardware and animal feed

    • Bullshit! I live in a valley that used to be abundant with rare wildlife & crystal clear creeks. I was the only human back here..now im surrounded with newbie greed rushers with diesel generators humming 24-7.. crude unpermitted driveways carved up steep mountains without gravel or water bars that dump loads of silt straight into the creek everytime it rains. The stream is always murky now & depleted of its water. Wildlife has disappeared. The skys are lit up..& i never hear my owls anymore. These people are absolute selfish, greedy, parasitic scum of the earth! They dont give shit about wilderness or community..flicking cigarette butts out along the road, starting fires & shooting off assault weapons on the reg. They are turning this place into hell..fuck them all! Go home you fucking kooks! & yes im white & have much respect for the old Native American culture that was so wronged by greedy infiltrators…just to make that clear since everybody likes to pull that card out.

    • Really, they grow weed without using water? How magical!

  • The native Americans could say the same about everyone “who moved here 40 years ago, with family roots…” The worst of the worst trashiest places I’ve ever worked at in the cannabis industry is local white trash hill folk who try to join the green rush. Most people with tons of money buy spots with houses and electricity and have solar these days. European and Southern California dispensers owners (mostly not white or local to America) have the shitty land dividing grows. Local ignorance is predominant in highway 36

  • I can’t speak to Trinity Pines, only to the Dinsmore to Bridgeville area which has traditionally been cattle ranches and some logging, National Forest and the Southern Trinity Unified & Bridgeville School Districts.
    We’ve also been here 40 years, and it’s really hard to see the erosion of community. In some ways it’s like gentrification – anyone who wants to raise a family and have a more rural lifestyle can’t afford the land anymore – but the newcomers aren’t improving the community or participating in it for the most part. A strain on VFDs and STAR as to increase in incidents, but not much in the way of contributions to these organizations and certainly not as far as volunteering goes.
    Some of these new folks are good neighbors, some are OK neighbors, and too many are bad neighbors. And, of course, that’s always been true to a degree, but the massive increase in numbers amplifies it.
    And water and natural resources are a real problem. No one could have predicted this future for this land and had rules in place to prevent overuse. Sigh.

  • The Wild Wild West… where have I heard that slogan before? Color me surprised they didn’t toss in the enormous amounts of second hand vapor or smoke from all those users.

  • This is not the kind of future we want to see. Fact of the matter is people are going to try to cling tight for the ride until someone really puts them out of business, and I’m not referring to just cutting down plants either. They have to get squeezed out. From an ethical standpoint people need to get informed. If their neighbor is going legal and doesn’t get raided, then all of a sudden the rest of the neighborhood wants in, or out altogether. Somehow the growing community needs to be informed about efforts to legalize because we don’t want the aforementioned issues in our community, and we want safe havens for families and children, period. That message should be respected and if not, no soup for them. For anyone who is concerned that they may be operating out of compliance with the new laws, call AgDynamix for a consultation and site visit. We conduct a full property analysis and discuss methods for proper use and storage of nutes and ferts, make organic recommendations, and identify approaches that wont impact environments. Additionally, we will assist you through the permitting process and will work closely with your engineer or other consultants.

    Call Today to find out more (707)798-6199

    • delete this persons comment kym. Not sure what your stance is on this kym but this is basically free advertising on your website. If your o.k. with it fine, but if it was up to me I’d delete it.

      • Totally agree. It’s “sponsored” comments.

      • If it’s a one time thing, I’ll let it stand. If it’s a repeat occurrence, then I’ll start deleting them. (Frankly, from what I see, the need for someone who can walk folks through the permitting process is so great that most organizations are booked up for as long as three months. So I’m willing to allow a little free advertising if it helps some growers go legit.)

        • she advertises on every canna post. ill start advertising my company as well, i love free advertising.
          thanks kempster

          • Well….don’t wear out the welcome. One here and there will probably be fine. I’m happy to help struggling new businesses but I’m one myself so remember you can buy ads, too.

    • “No soup for you!” lol

  • Cut and leave with red tagging s sites then the people will self regulate

  • Yes, “squeezed out” wil occur in the coming years for the whole region when your weed will become a quaint memory from a list: Going to amsterdam to get high, scoring your first “lid” of panama red, watching cheech and chong and the grateful dead.
    Napa is a worldwide-famous region for wine, but we all know the vast majority of California’s grapes are grown in the central valley, where there is cheap, flat land, less restrictions and cheap labor. There will be no reason to buy your hippie weed except for a very, very tiny boutique market.

  • veterans friend

    I live in a little town with a community water system. Until about 5 years ago our water company only had to supply the domestic water usage of the folks who live here. NOW it has to supply 20 or 30 100′ hoop house grows running two crops per season. How do you think THAT is working?

  • With so many of these huge grows being financed by foreign entities and cartels, local communities should brace for impact. Seriously, the Wild West will have NOTHING on what is going to begin to go down. I have seen HUGE HUGE convoys of dirt trucks headed up the alderpoint road, Semi tractor trailers FULL, convoys… not just 1 truck… just a couple of days ago we counted EIGHT … in a row. Add to that the local store trucks with bags of dirt… the dirt hauling has all but destroyed the road to Alderpoint, and beyond, this year.
    Then you will have the ‘workers’ of said grows taking the water resources, by force, eventually at gunpoint.
    Then there will be days when the ‘workers’ want to have a night on the town, which ever town… sort of like when all the cow hands on a large cattle ranch would ride in to town to get drunk and visit the whore house… sound familiar?
    Kids won’t be safe, better not let them play unattended, some of the ‘workers’ come from cultures where children are prey.
    If legalization actually happens, it will no longer be cost effective to grow in remote mountain areas, then there will be fallout from the vacuum created by all these major growers fleeing the area to move to a more affordable growing establishment.
    I haven’t been in the hills around Zenia for as long as some. I do remember things being a lot mellower 10 years ago. You had your local growers who were small time, careful, discreet, and concerned about sustainability and land use.
    The only caution back then was never go horseback riding in the National forest around Watts Lake and Bear wallow without packing a gun. Truckloads of mexicans would drive by you and leer, however they remained fairly polite, particularly once said side arm was noticed.
    I guess one upside of the green rush into private land is that now I can ride the ridge line, and I only need to pack iron because sometimes the local wild life makes it’s presence known.
    Batten down the hatches mates… we are in for a storm, and it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better, because the big growers themselves are fighting legalization.
    If you have lived on your land for 40 years and you have dogs from new neighbors terrorizing stock, shoot the damned dogs. If a new grower neighbor tries to beat you up over water that you probably have documented water rights for, start going to your water source armed. Also, tie them up in legal knots in court.
    If you are a long time local low key growing resident, start making a lot of noise about the out of towners coming in and destroying the area.
    If folks want to keep their communities intact you have to act. And if the supervisors and people supposedly making regulations etc won’t enforce them and only give the appearance of concern but do nothing, VOTE THEM OUT, or recall them.
    Just my nickle’s worth, and we all know how much a nickle gets you these days.

  • Do they realize that the weed market is going to be flooded soon? Their precious weed isn’t gonna be worth much.

  • Kym the guy who got beat up is a personal friend of mine the rastafarians .were the ones who did it .I’m going up there see if they want to mess with me .I’m gonna let them no who they are messing with . woopsie.

    • What happened to the saying “One Love”? Lol

      • Sleepy Alligator

        It still amuses me that so many people think of Rastafarians as a peaceful, “One Love” type. Real Rastas are actually quite the opposite. Don’t believe me? Just go spend some time in the Washington DC Rasta community. I’m sure there will be enough murdering and raping to change your mind.

  • It’s cheap now,it’s gonna be cheaper when there’s so much of it,too many greedy non-humboldters who come here to ruin everything that was working for us.Pot has been growing around here before I was born.it just wasn’t talked about.what a shame greedy f***ers

  • I just went through a big portion of the permitting process in Mendocino County and between the Water Board, Fish and Game and the Department of Agriculture, they made sure they covered most of the things listed here, except maybe the dogs, which as far as Im concerned is a problem with many pet owners out here, growers or not. We are not allowed to use spring or creek water for agriculture, it has to be a pond or rain catch or a well. We are not allowed to bulldoze without permits and that is a concern through permitting because of the sediment in the rivers it causes on top of the other enviroment impacts that causes. The whole thing with this permitting process is to stop the enviromental issues. Noise and smell pollution is checked also. And the young man who was beat up is sad, but even though his family used the water for years I notice its not mentioned whos property the water is on. There is no grandfather clause on water. (According to a court case my neighbor went through on water) so regaurdless of growing, the drought we are in is making it so that whether people are growing or not people are generally being less generous with giving water away. But if the counties do not enforce the regulations it will still give growers a bad rap and it will aggravate the growers that are investing and taking the time to do it right to watch others come in and do it all wrong and get away with it. I am not putting all the work I have into it to watch some bozo screw theirs up and ruin it for me. But, since this is all new ground for everyone I understand it will take time to fine tune it all. What one part of the government wants you to do is sometimes opposite of what another branch wants and it can be confusing. Water Board will say one thing, then Fish and Game can come in with a different idea and it is keeping some areas grey. So then you could be trying to comply to the greatest degree and still get told your doing it wrong and it can be frustrating. The rules and deadlines change rapidly and the people overseeing it all are too stretched. Hopefully as more money rolls in with people trying to comply it will get better. But they are also setting it up so that if you have not been a greedy grower in the past all the money they are expecting from all the different groups are making it so only the greedy growers are able to afford to comply. The waterboard, county, state and our sherriff all have their hands out for something that is suppose to be non profit. Then on top of that, in mendocino you have to pay a third party to come tell you what they think too, 3 times. So even though I have the Water Board and the Sherriff and maybe Fish and Game down the road inspecting me and they all said what Im doing is good, I have to pay another group to come tell me the same thing or change it all up again. That is a minimum of $1500 dollars. And the Sherriff wants 50 dollars a plant, waterboard 2500 bucks. Then the county says they are strapped for cash to keep up with all this. And the Sheriff says if he catches anyone making money he will bust them. Meanwhile, in the big pharma industry…Anyway, just the opinion of someone who is trying to do it right and be good to the enviroment. But also I would like to add, I come from a Military town. Sometimes when the soldiers are acting up people in town like to complain, but then they are generally reminded that every business in the county and surrounding counties, whether it is a business related to the millitary or not, is affected by the millitary. When they go to war our community suffers. When they come back we thrive. When the police started giving soldiers tons of tickets, Ft Riley told their soldiers to stop coming to town and it hurt all the businesses. When the Water Department and landlords started raising rent and deposits on water, the Army started building more housing on base and that hurt the community. When I moved here things were thriving. Then the laws constricted and I noticed business that once thrived started to slump. This industry affects everyone in so many ways. We need the right balance. Hope we find it. I know this is long, but last thing. The young are having problems being able to afford housing, property prices are rising. In one hand if your buying that sucks. But to everyone who already owns property, watching the value rise is delightful. Whole Home Owner Associations are built to watch those values rise. Don’t know whos side Im on with that, but in a world that runs on Money, its bound to get worse, or better. Whatever. And I will also say that I have seen more money donated to schools and other charities in the area by growers than I can say. Where I am from in Kansas, charities never make as much as here. Unless they are fund drivers by democrats or republicans with thier rich corporate friends paying 5000 doallars a plate for something like the Clinton Foundation…lollollol There are goods and bads in this industry. Hopefully people will make it more on the good side. But keep the discussions open and positive. Discrimination is putting everyone in the same catagory whether they deserve it or not. Nothing is black or white in this.

  • seeking balance.

    There are lots of things we can do to drastically cut down on water usage. Like….ditch the smart pots and use in ground holes or beds. Stop using high drainage soils with high percentages of perlite and pumice. Using soils with lots of compost and coco fiber in the ground can save maybee 50% on water usage compared to smart pots full of high drainage hydroponic type soil. And rice hulls are cheap, put a few inches as mulch on your beds. Its time to get away from hydroponic inspired gardening, and start using proper outdoor techniques. Better product, happier neighbors.

    • Also- cover the mounds, holes or even pots with hay or straw.

      And practice multiple lighter feedings at early morning or late evening.

  • part of the reason why theres so many growers here now is because it would be next to impossible to live here if you worked a 9-5. I can’t go into the grocery store in garberville without spending around 100 bucks for 1 measly bag of groceries. I do most shopping up north now because the prices on everything are considerably lower. Same with the land prices around here, If your lucky enough to find a few acres for sale it’s priced at 500k or more for a piece of land with nothing on it. Pretty much anywhere else I’m pretty sure 500k can get you a really nice house with some land, or an absolute mansion on a 1/2 acre. I don’t know what the solution is, but If everything here wasn’t so outrageously priced people wouldn’t need to throw up mega grows.

  • So many good points here, really nothing to add….Other than, bring ’em down. Tear them up, cut them, fine them, do it! Continue to push on local Sheriffs office, Regional Water Quality Control Board (Santa Rosa), and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (Eureka).

    Make the call turn in the greed growers, and start to end the destruction and heal our communities!

    Thanks Humboldt. Do it right.

  • I cannot see what Supervisor Fennell can do to help, she is pro-development (HumCPR), she is the one pushing for development at the Community Park, that would increase water demand and usage from the So Fork Eel to the tune of 3 to 4 million gallons a month during June, July, August and September for wine grapes that were just put in the ground this month (10 acres), sports fields (10 acres) and new infrastructure to support up to 800 visitors per day, camping all year round 24/7 and concerts/festivals as approved and supported by Fennell, lock, stock and barrel. Now Redway & Garberville water districts have fear the Park is going to suck the river down so low it will effect their customers. But no one is asking about the coho, chinook or steelhead population.

    Its too bad Fennell don’t want to have public meeting concerning the Community Park Board’s thirsty development scheme.

    Internalizing the Profits; Externalizing the Cost and at what cost will it take to say enough is enough…

  • How about all the hash Labs in the the Redway Buissnes park? This place is getting out of control and nobody seems to care to stop it. How are places even allowed to sell the explosives to anyone that wants? Would love to hear her opinion on this.

    • You mean like BHOgart? The butane and CO2 extraction equipment suppliers that have a large retail store right on 101 south in Eureka? Right in my face everyday? And then we all complain about houses blowing up and burning down from hash labs and “we gotta do something!” Ha Ha Ha! Notice much of a disconnect between government people saying “We gotta do something” and anything really happening?! Yeah, a local ordinance could shut that store down but….it doesn’t happen. How about those Bulgarian massively blown-up grow operations in the Mattole? We live in a corrupt, sleazy place full of bullshitters….and I’m definitely including the Sheriff’s Department with that.

    • what hash labs are up in the business park?? Yes there is a place up there where you can buy the EQUIPMENT to setup a lab. Selling the equipment is perfectly legal.

  • Corporate takeover of the supervisors to allow this madness !They rushed to implement the most excessive county allowances in the state of California by far!The environment will suffer and neiborhoods as people/ corporations rush to be ” grandfathered”.keep in mind if you buy or happened to own 1200 acres you could apply for 12 of the 43,560 square feet permits…also the first commercial permit in humboldt was issued to a llc based out of Florida :)(see ncj article).Now how the supervisors can track and trace these grows product before the bmmj takes law and effect in 2018 Is a unknown to me.

    “Among counties known for outdoor growing, the acreage allowed in Calaveras appears exceeded only by that in the legendary pot haven of Humboldt County. There, supervisors allowed new commercial marijuana farms of up to 10,000-square feet and voted to let existing outdoor growers cultivate up to a full acre – or 43,560 square feet.

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/california-weed/article85908447.html#storylink=cpy

    • Supervisors did it at the behest of CCV-H. Do not forget that. Other mega-grow representatives were pushing for it also. They claimed it was “in Humboldt’s best interest” as they positioned themselves to make millions. They had private meetings and meals with supervisors and others in our county government. Sleaze and corruption.

  • some people will never care

    Some people never care like many of the growers in the Bridgeville area obviously. If a community the size of Bridgeville is having to have a meeting that a supervisor and our sheriff has to go to on the entire county tax dollars it is too late. It will solve nothing because only the people that actually care will attend. Sure there will be some decent size growers there that actually care and are trying to Steward the land but the majority the growers won’t be there and it will be mostly concerned citizens with a handful of growers and none of the people that the complaints are about will be in attendance. Most of the landowners of the mega grows in the area probably don’t even set foot on their spot but once a week or even month. They don’t even know about the complaints because they have 3 to 6 guys on the property that are just doing what they’re told maybe they’re not from the area, maybe they are, maybe they know that the creeks are getting sucked dry, maybe they don’t, they’re just going through their day to day 9-to-5 it just happens to be out on a marijuana grow. They are not paid to think they are paid to grow the biggest and healthiest plant possible.. That’s their job. It Just so happens that the forest streams and citizens are caught in the middle. We humans are locusts by nature. We all wear shoes with rubber soles were typing on a computer screen we drive cars we consume consume and very little of us actually produce food or build soil or do any carbon offsetting in our day-to-day life let alone in one years span. It seems like the only option is for the sheriffs to have a multi-day camp out and bring all their friends Into the area in question. Can’t believe I’m saying that but what else will work. Do you actually think people will shut down their grow that’s already planted. The destruction is already done. We all know we’re not supposed to bulldoze mega flats it’s common sense and of course you’re not supposed to put trees into your flats as fill. Technically no cannabis farmer over 2000 ft.² is supposed to be sucking any water from the creek stream spring or any surface during the summer months they’re supposed to have rain catchment and water tank storage set up the last them through the summer at this point and if they haven’t then shame on them. For the people complaining that the Densmore store will go out of business if we start busting mega grows give me a break! that place must do 100 grand on a weekend if you sit outside the Densmore store for a couple hours and watch the activity going down it’s nuts! They are not hurting at all and they sell tons of gnarly chemical fertilizers so I don’t feel bad for them at all. They are part of the problem aswell. Instead of wasting time on the meeting downy should lace his boots up and head out there with his boys and make an example of the 36 problem zones. If the sheriffs come across a 99 plant grow or a spot with a modest greenhouse or 2 just MoveOn. Show up and you have your fishing game paperwork your Northcoast water quality paperwork and some form of a collective or registering with the county it shouldn’t even be a question is should just be move onto the next spot

    • I was in shock to find myself saying the same thing years ago. Years ago it may have worked. Growers hear what other growers get away with or why they get busted and they change their behavior accordingly. No need to arrest anybody- just destroy the profits by cutting and chipping. Skip the small mom n pops and legitimate medical grows. But…this is where Gallegos was an idiot- if you announce to everybody that they are free to grow hundreds of pounds “for medical” you will get thousands of people coming here to do it! And if the sheriff does not bust much then there is no reason to stay small! This next wave is organized crime groups from all over the place, even international and they are not some groovy hippies. They have big cash from other crimes and are buying up the places and blowing them up crazy. So yeah- congratulations everybody on not seeing the inevitable conclusion. The parasites are here in force. Enjoy!

  • Hi folks, I just so happen to be the “young man” in this article containing falsified and very incomplete information about that attack. I’m under 35, barley, I grew up right here on the land I live on today, off the grid as always. I live here because its just so beautiful here. A perfect valley to raise my children and continue our families stewardship of this land. Its not easy to do it right, I mean just to homestead and to become self sufficient, while becoming desirably a benefit and at the least, a non detrimental being to the environment. But that’s the life I know and love, My parents moved up here 40 years ago, over the years I remember such hero’s as sheriff Renner and Operation Green Sweep. Summers filled with helicopters in the air and Vietnam vets running the hills with plants on their backs in an interesting sort of role reversal from ten years earlier in their lives. they would show all us kids the blind spots on huey’s and always knew what bend the birds would come up from. Camp would land up to seven helicopters at a time on a flat right next to our property, little birds, Kiawah warriors, huey’s, and chinooks from FT Ord. I remember before I left to fight the Taliban this county had a different community core,… After Iraq I came home and the cannabis industry was “out of the closet” by my standards, and by what I could see. I could not see nearly as many fish and bears and coyotes though. Working for the state FD I was able to get a grasp of how destructive the industry had become. I’m here to say that this Industry is inappropriately placed here. The plants and animals and the actual Residents here cannot maintain themselves under this burden. I would also encourage anyone who want’s to learn about military dependent economies and military/civilian relationships to keep in mind that when residents complain about us soldiers and marines, they might be referring to criminal behavior and places like Okinawa, Tong du chon Korea, might be referring to rape, murder, kids accidently getting run over by tanks, hoards of drunken combat soldiers….real problems that the military tends to bring along. Much like those areas of the world we here are inundated with peoples foreign to our way of life and indifferent to our values. A year ago a long time neighbor of ours and an active community member moved away and much to my expectation the new owners rented out every square foot of the parcel out to small time novice wannabe growers…. the type that would wreck more if they had the means. Right off the bat I had trespassers and plants on my property lines. Soon up the creek from me his crew clear cut at least an acre Right in the creek bed and surrounding area, but of course he cut another neighbor’s land, causing much butthurt across the Valley. So my neigbors got together and contacted me about it and collectively we met with our tree poaching new arrival, We argued the next morning with him rather peacefully until his incompetence shown so bright he finnaly asked us to leave and threatened myself and my mother, (who was not preset), saying hes killed so many people in LA, It was kinda funny to me as he had told other neigbors that he was born and raised in Montana, so I walked away. He eventually had a terrible season as his crew slowly realized that plants need far more water than they could afford. So this year he starts off with an entirely new crew of kids with no experience or skill and stayed quiet until a few weeks ago…. So there I am driving my happy ass on over to my mothers house down the road we all live on and right before my very eyes is that problem niegbor with three other guys all standing on my property line looking down onto my propety where the creek runs seasonally along the road. the road is the bounry line and the creek is certainly mine to protect, under the spot they were standing on was a culvert and right in line with that drainage up the hill was a new grow with some 30 large pots. So being caught casing my creek, he and his crew use some colorful language to belittle me then turn to split, down the road, a few minutes laer I get to my mothers home and who is in her driveway waiting for me? four very dumb feeling growers who feel that they need to let me know that they don’t approve of my lifestyle by threatening to go tell my mommy….At that point I had enough, I got out of my truck with my cell phone cam rolling and gave him such a verbal taunting that he tries to drive away and in his anger hits a tree with his grow dozer, Laughing my ass off at this point I try to make it clear that he isn’t welcome to come by my home and scare my family,….and that he is not a smart man. He gets out and attcaks me by trying to take my cellphone and throws some 50yr old man punches at me, we roll down onto my mothers land where I locked him up in a good constricting hold with the intention to put him under citizens arrest. I hear his 30 yld son cry out, “don’t hurt my dad!” I yelled back,”im not” but at that point his son started in with the punches to the face and I could only hold on for so long, I let go of the old man and that’s when they both just punched and kicked me until I escaped up the hill to make sure my mother was ok. Ive had some brain injuries in combat and I knew I needed to get checked out. I called 911 an ambulance and fire truck came up, but no deputies,…they made contact with me at the hospital and explained first that it was the end of their shift and that they cancelled their response because I was in town,(never mind securing the scene and checking to make sure my family was safe) and since the attackers were not wearing boots at the time it’s a misdomenor assult and there was no arrest,… I feel that I am not a recognized demographic and Ill be at the meeting but I believe Estel Fennel will do little for us as we will not bring more money to the economy with our concerns for our quality of life. Oh and no growers donate nothing to the community here, what a joke! in fact last year my sons first day of school was cancelled because growers stole all the water from the tank. I love my Home and my Country and I intend to stand my ground. These problem growers will fail, lets all legally do our part to help them to that point.

    • Mike, thank you for updating us on your version of what happened. I really appreciate it. I am a little taken back by the “falsified” charge though I will agree that your version is much more complete than mine.

      • yeah falsified was a bit much,… I should have just stuck with incomplete,this whole mess has left my hackles stuck in the up position. and I was quite surprised to see this pop up today.

    • some people will never care

      I feel for you man. The system is broken. A lil weed killer from ace and a late night covert dropping of said weed killer would go a long way. It doesn’t take more then a splash around the stalk. Not to get vengeful but yeah that stuffs works… Just kidding but it’s still fun to think about. They would just think they got fusarium wilt or russet mite and wouldn’t be able to figure out why all there plants are dying. Just don’t pour it on a few so it seems like a bug or virus working its way though the crop.. Just kidding though don’t do that. ” revenge is a dish best served cold”

    • Can't make this stuff up

      Sounds like the plot to Walking Tall with the “Rock”. Lol

    • Sorry bout the problems your family is facing but that was the best story all day! “in his anger hits a tree with his grow dozer, Laughing my ass off at this point I try to make it clear that he isn’t welcome to come by my home and scare my family,….and that he is not a smart man. He gets out and attcaks me by trying to take my cellphone and throws some 50yr old man punches at me, we roll down onto my mothers land where I locked him up in a good constricting hold with the intention to put him under citizens arrest.”
      Whoop whoop!
      & Thank you for your service to our country! I feel safer around here already!

  • In reference to section three, line # 4. I would recommend keeping the soil in order to build up and expand the area of cultivatable land.
    Ever seen potting soil dumped in a forested area? Give it a year or so and it is completely absorbed with tree roots
    just loving it.

  • What was the end result of the meeting today?

    • Lots of promises!!!! :-/ A NEW Resident Deputy who will be living in Hydesville come October, IIRC (my hearing isn’t so great especially in a crowd situation but I think we’re supposed to be getting more patrol hours from CHP as well!!! Hopefully others with a better memory as well as hearing will add to & or correct this!!!

  • native warrior

    legalization solves nothing, the black market is thriving in colorado and washington. The taxes at the legal shops are so absurd your better off copping from your neighbor. Nationwide legalization could potentially solve the criminal element but they are not legalizing in utah anytime soon. As you guys know those mormons love to puff. So there you go legalization means nothing the bulgarians and other organized criminals are not selling in california anyway. good luck and im glad i dont live out the 36. stay safe out there boys and girl.
    -nw

    • And with only 60 potential permitted grows, the other 10,000 grows won’t be paying any fees/taxes, or be burdened by those pesky environmental regulations. What are the chances of getting busted? 1 in 1,000? No wonder the rush is on.

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