As Humboldt County Supervisors Meet to Talk Cannabis, Karuk/Yurok Tribes Demand Stronger Regulations for the Industry
Representatives from the Karuk Tribe, Yurok Tribe, and Friends of the Eel River will attend the next Humboldt County Supervisors’ meeting to demand stronger cannabis regulations to protect Humboldt’s fisheries, water, and cultural resources.
“Our fisheries are suffering a death from a thousand cuts,” says Yurok Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Frankie Myers. “Our fish simply cannot tolerate further expanding the cannabis industry.”
Already, Humboldt County is home to an estimated 15,000 outdoor grows alone. Today, Supervisors will consider approving a Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance which will aim to permit as many as 5,000 grows.
According to Friends of the Eel River’s Scott Greacen, “Humboldt County has to choose. Do we want an environmentally and economically sustainable pot sector, or do we want an economy dependent on a collapsing black market that’s wrecking our watersheds? Does it make sense to issue thousands of additional permits in watersheds where salmon and steelhead are being driven extinct by cultivation-related impacts? The county hasn’t done the work needed to understand, much less control, those impacts.”
The organizations are urging the county to do a thorough environmental analysis to develop realistic limits for each stream in the County based on sound scientific principles.
“Humboldt’s Tribes have had to struggle through the gold rush, then the timber rush, and now the green rush. Each wave of resource extractors deals another critical hit to the fishery resources that are central to Tribal culture and economies. We need our Supervisors to stand up for Humboldt’s Tribal people and manage this industry in a sustainable manner. So far, the proposals we have seen fall far short of that demand,” said Karuk Natural Resources Director Leaf Hillman.
Aside from environmental concerns, the groups note that too many grows will lead the ‘Green Bubble’ to burst. Greacen notes, “Humboldt currently grows enough weed to supply the entire state of California’s demand by at least twofold. Permitting too many grows will create a glut of weed on the market, drive prices down, and undermine our own local economy. This will affect everyone whether you are a homeowner, local business owner, or young person looking for economic opportunities.”
Humboldt Supervisors are schedule to consider an ordinance for approval at their Monday March, 19 meeting.