‘Find them, notice them and fix them’: Humboldt County Recognized for Eye in the Sky Illegal Cannabis Identification Program

Press release from the California State Association of Counties:

Humboldt County has taken its code enforcement of illegal cannabis grows to new heights – thousands of miles above the Earth to be exact. It’s a state-of-the-art strategy being employed by the County Planning and Building Department to identify unpermitted cannabis cultivations. Now instead of sending staff into the depths of the 4,000-square-mile county to come across grows that are not in compliance, all it takes is a click of the mouse to review current satellite footage.

Illegal cannabis grows are nothing new to the County. It’s estimated that at the time of legalization in 2016 there were more than 15,000 cultivation sites on 6,000 parcels. Despite the legalization of cannabis, there are still an enormous number of illegal grows taking place. And that means cultivations that are not in compliance and causing significant environmental impacts.

“If cannabis is going to be a legal and regulated product, the illegal portion of it needed to be addressed and it needed to be addressed in a proactive way. That allowed us to be creative in ways to go about doing that,” explains County Planning and Building Director John Ford.

Prior to the program, the County was primarily dependent on citizen complaints. Staff would be sent to investigate, and it could take a full day just to try to inspect three or four sites. There was also the obstacle of encountering numerous locked gates or not being able to find the hidden cannabis grow.

That all changed with the eye in the sky.

“From desktop computers we can monitor the entire expanse of the County,” explains Bob Russell, Deputy Director for the County’s Planning and Building Department. “We can assess whether structures are permitted, if there’s been tree removal and grading and if that’s permitted, and very efficiently assess whether there’s violations on the property or whether it’s permitted activity.”

The satellite program is achieving one of its primary goals: reducing environmental impacts. In fact, its official name is the Humboldt Environmental Impact Reduction Program.

“The ‘Green Rush” resulted in a massive increase in watershed impacts,” says Scott Greacen, Executive Director of Friends of the Eel River, who is very concerned about environmental impacts from the industry. “The use of satellite imagery has been one of the tools that really advanced our understanding of those impacts. “

Unpermitted sites often involve poor grading, the use of pesticides, roads never intended for daily travel; failed culverts, badly engineered ponds, and loss of tree canopy and timberland. The impacts to water quality and wildlife go on and on.

“We need to regulate and hold responsible legitimate actors, but we also critically have to be able to find and hold responsible people who are not following the rules. That is not easy to do,” Greacen continues. “We have enormous areas of steep, rugged, heavily forested land that is hard to get to. Satellite imagery pulls the cover back on those operations. “

Use of satellite technology has resulted in the volume of cases being processed to increase tenfold. Since the program was implemented, more than 1,000 non-compliant sites have been identified. About 400 have come into complete compliance and another third working toward compliance. Others have just simply stopped growing.

Humboldt County staff believe they are the first in the country to purchase satellite time to collect data solely for the purpose of identifying and monitoring cannabis operations. While there is obviously a cost involved with this purchase, the County is saving significant amount of staff time; with fines set at $10,000 per day for each violation, revenues have significantly exceeded the cost of the imagery and staff time to manage it.

Russell sums up the value of the program: “Find them, notice them and fix them – it can be done in a very condensed amount of time.”

On Tuesday, March 10 at 9:30 am the Board of Supervisors will formally receives the CSAC Challenge Award for this program and the UC Cooperative Extension award for its Prescribed Fire Program from Graham Knauss, CSAC Executive Director.

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104 comments

  • 🇺🇸Someone tried telling you people this a long time back.🇺🇸

  • Coming soon: Eye-in-the-living-room program! A telescreen on every wall!

    • Monterey/Salinas Mega Grower

      I salute the amazing folks at the Humboldt Environmental Impact Reduction Program! Keep up the good fight!

    • It’s called Alexia for your home & ring for your front yard. You think you’re the spy while it spies on you.

  • Enforcement doesn’t work on any level.

    Maybe instead of being the new cop on the block work with your constituents.

    The Board of Supervisors hired these two and they can fire them as well.

    All we have to do is vote.

    Nobody wants to see environmental damage ever.

    These satellite images should be used in a positive way and invite the grower in without fines and go over their project.

    If it is an environmental disaster then work out a time table to clean it up.

    Stealing their money and property won’t help clean up the mess.

    Seriously the county has its own mess with roads and runoff five times worse then some illegal grows.

    How long does it take to repair Alderpoint?

    The veterans hall?

    The building and planning department ADA requirements?

    Satellite Enforcement means people will start to grow in the forest like they did in the 70’s and 80’s.

    These old timers should recognize that.

    What’s better 10,000 under the tree canopy grows which will likely be closer to the water source than out in the open.

    Work with the residents that live here and not against them.

    Cannabis is safe and not harmful like many legal things out there.

    All every one wants is a clean environment and freedom to live without fear from Government.

    • dont you idiots know you voted for marijuana illegalization with prop 64?

      NAZI indeed…

      • Bug on a Windshield

        That’s right, and now I can grow a plant or two, fully visible by satellites, for myself, in my back yard, without fear of getting thrown in jail or my home confiscated. Because, and get this, it might be hard to understand, but, it NEVER should have been IL-legalized. Exactly why I never wasted my time with a 215 card.

        Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT digging the whole satellite / big brother thing.

      • I know you’re so right they voted for legalization out of sheer ignorance!!! If people had thought it thru or had experience dealing with federal and state governments any time a permit is involved it only works out for the government and the rich. I’ve watched this for longer than I care to say and it is heart breaking to see mom and pop get kicked to the curb and be replaced by greedy corporatist and low life criminals. And look at the devastation to the earth, NorCal economy and quality of life. The only winners have been these liberal politicians that rode the wave for votes knowing they would f…k everybody in the end. EVERY LAW IS A FREEDOM LOST!!!

    • People will go back to growing in the trees. That would be a vast improvement!!!! Anyone that has flown this area in a small plan notices how the forests in Humboldt resemble a moth eaten blanket; just peppered with clearings made solely for cannabis cultivation. Bring back the grow bags up in the branches of Buckeye trees!

    • Vickirose Dillon

      I agree. I would go with our local freedom fighters to protests at the court house.

  • More likely Eye In the Sky in your back yard whether or not you have a Cannabis crop!!! Peek A Boo, I SEE You!!!!

  • Born and raised

    Ya just don’t mention the abatements of non cannabis related structures. Or the effect this awesome new technology has on our communities.
    During the illegal market days Humboldt was a well known. We should not have been the first county to take a hard stance on enforcement. We should be doing everything we can to get these farmers to come into compliance and permit voluntarily! But our county has instead went hard crushing the small struggling farming industry we do have here.

    There is no physical way to know someone is growing cannabis under a greenhouse cover. This leads to enforcement action of elders in our community that in reality have nothing to do with legal or illegal cannabis activities and want nothing to do with it.
    I believe this is an invasion of privacy and completely wrong!
    Said elders receive these abatements and it can take two years (ya and attorney fees) to just get the county to agree the vegetable pictures they sent in were not staged. Then after all is said and done the county requires permitting of greenhouses even if 0 commercial cannabis activities were involved before they will release people from the abatement.
    So humboldt county could easily use this same abatement technique for any and all unpermitred structures visible from the air. How would people feel if all unpermitted structures could result in this 10,000 a day fine.
    This is what happens when people are abated for nothing so why would they not just start abating all Unpermitted structures. how many elders over 65 would be unable to afford permitting costs and therefore forced to sell (oh ya and land prices are way low thanks in part to Humboldt counties mismanagement of our emerging agricultural economy.) or barrow or who knows why else.
    I know multiple elders that have removed familial greenhouses used for subsistence and 0 commercial cannabis activity just to keep Humboldt county off their back.

    It is sick that they would pat themselves on the back like we are awesome for being first. First is not always the best. First often means you have to make mistakes that others will learn from. This whole abatement thing is one of those mistakes. I sure hope other counties do not jump on the band wagon. We were also first with our county regulations on cannabis and that seems to have turned out to be quite a disaster for the community as a whole.

    Stop patting yourselves on the back for destroying our struggling farming industry.
    But I mean what else could they do when we had 15000 farmers and the county decided they wanted to allow 3500 permits. The funny thing is they are nowhere near their cap. This is sad since we had crazy high numbers of existing small family farms when legalization began.

    Humboldt county needs a new approach!

    • Yet Estelle….still here😠

    • I just love the way Gavin & Huffman gave everyone assurances that they would take care of us if we would Just Trust Them…Ha ha ha. And Huffman was just re elected And no one ran against him.

      OK teachers out there I know you’re not supposed to start a sentence with And. I did it anyway.

    • The Safe Homes Act, coming in 2022, is when the “EYE” will abate & fine all the unpermitted structures on any private property. Don’t think they won’t do this with their beefed-up CodeEnforcement police! We must repeal this Act before they use it to take property from many many ppl. The cannabis Abatements are just practice for this unpermitted structures action.

      • You are right on born and raised! The impacts are widespread and so devastating. It’s amazing that no one in media is talking about it. Heads up though folks Humboldt County IS ALREADY FINING PEOPLE FOR THEIR UNPERMITTED HOMES, compost toilets, greenhouses, growing a plant, having an old car, a stack of planter pots, and putting liens against properties for standard off grid and often best management practices.
        See the imagery here from an abatement hearing decision order which shows this- https://shaktinicholenorris.wordpress.com/2020/02/21/persecuted-by-thieves/

        Legalization permits harm for those who can afford it. That’s how the legal system works, just ask the community environmental legal Defence fund (celdf.org). I thought people knew these basics in Humboldt but I must have over estimated the general awareness here.
        This claim blows my mind “Despite the legalization of cannabis, there are still an enormous number of illegal grows taking place. And that means cultivations that are not in compliance and causing significant environmental impacts.” Where is the logic? Where is the proof?? There isn’t any. Read the scholarly book “marijuana politics” released last year and discover what Humboldt County is claiming is false (as usual). Best practices are comprised by legalization (as expected).
        The cost and complexity is the only inhibitor to compliance, and that’s not the farmers making, everyone wants to be compliant obviously. Mendocino is trying to fix their permit program for their 90% non compliant farms now. they are creating an amnesty program that helps farmers, while Humboldt county terrorizes small farmers and threatens their lives on the daily. We need to storm the Bos chambers and demand an end to this abatement program and permit reform. Bohn and Fennell are the backers and beneficiaries of these inhumane policies, Yet the (almost) majority of Locals voted to dig their own graves, again. It’s astonishing.

        • It’s called NWO. They don’t want you to be self sustaining. They don’t want you to grow your own veggies and live off grid. They want you in a compound. They want you controlled. Its happening. Self reliance is freedom. Freedom is the government’s enemy. We are the enemy.

    • Good luck on that

  • Has the legality of this been thoroughly tested? I would love to be part of an action against the county to test this if it hasn’t been tested, and if any lawyer want to take this on I would like to contact them. It seems to me to be an unwarranted intrusion into my home by a prying government agency looking for money.

    • A case similar to this has already been heard in the US Supreme Court and the landowner won.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyllo_v._United_States

      “The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the thermal imaging of Kyllo’s home constituted a search. Since the police did not have a warrant when they used the device, which was not commonly available to the public, the search was presumptively unreasonable and therefore unconstitutional. The majority opinion argued that a person has an expectation of privacy in his or her home and therefore, the government cannot conduct unreasonable searches, even with technology that does not enter the home. Justice Scalia also discussed how future technology can invade on one’s right of privacy and therefore authored the opinion so that it protected against more sophisticated surveillance equipment.”

      • Let’s find someone who has a good case and I’m sure we could source community funding for the case. Any good civil rights lawyers want to weigh in? Ed ?
        This is the only way I see to stop them, esp since no supervisor seats were flipped.
        I dislike this agency- it’s filled with greedy bloated bureaucrats who are overcharging for small violations. Effective- yes they are. Have they made prices go up for Humboldt’s product? Yes.
        But they need to be stopped for the greater good of our community. They are making a template and they will keep using it for smaller code violations… these things don’t just stop.

      • How would you ever know if they stopped?

      • “The majority opinion argued that a person has an expectation of privacy in his or her home…” While that is true, I’m fairly certain greenhouses and large outside plantations are not considered one’s home. A home has more protection under the law than one’s entire property.

        • Outside the home, there is a reasonable expectation of privacy within the “curtilage” of the home. That’s the area immediately adjacent to the home, usually set off by fences and improved in ways suggesting it’s used for the homeowner’s enjoyment.

          Apart from the heat signatures case, there is ample case law saying LE can observe properties with the naked eye from any place they’re allowed to be normally. That may or may not include hovering over your place at 150 ft. But satellite imagery is not an LE officer’s personal observation with the naked eye. That may make it more like a search to the courts.

          OTOH, “open field doctrine” seems to mean that outside home and curtilage, all bets are off.

          In general, it’s stunning how much of this case law was established with weed cases, and how often drug war exceptions have been made, as with helicopter minimum altitude.

          • Yes, We can all Thank Ron Sinoway and Mel Pearlston for the Curtilage Precedent they have proven in court in 1989 To be observed from then until present !! Thankyou Gentlemen

      • There was also a precedent set in santa rosa case back in ’95. The judge ruled using thermal goggles without a warrant is illegal.

      • Doesn’t apply to open areas

      • Pissed off Marine

        It’s all in the constitution!!!! Screw greasy gavin and the rest of the far lefties that want to change it all by calling the people who believe in it racist deplorables. Break constitutional rights, end up in a law suit!

    • I would love to see the court case where these insanely exorbitant abatement fines get slammed And the county has to pay them back. And the county goes bankrupt. As the county should! Throwing fines like this at elders and at landowners over trespass grows- this is very shameful. Nothing to be proud of at all. [edit…get a grip]

      • Well it’s all talk unless someone does it. Let’s start a class action… any good lawyers out there? I’m happy to share my email through Kym. I’ve been abated for veggie greenhouse at my home, and although I didn’t pay have to pay the 10k per day fine I am on the hook for admin costs which are thousands of dollars, for unpermitted grading and unpermitted buildings. Seems very unamerican to me, for lack of a better word.

        I think there is something very basically wrong with this program, I think it invades our personal space in a way that is unconstitutional and I believe a good court case could bring it down. But I’m no lawyer so I’d appreciate Eds opinion or someone else who knows more than I do.

    • Vickirose Dillon

      I also believe action to stop these injustices now

  • Exactly Born and Raised…I am 1 such elder in the community with an abatement hanging over my head and property…1 greenhouse has my 6 plants..the other veggies..I filed an appeal and have heard nothing..my attorney has advised me to sit back for now… these abatements and $10,000 fines per day are completely illegal…County needs to be sued on this one as well..I will check in with attorney tomorrow for any updates.

    • Similar situation here. My son owns a property he has not visited in this century. Abatement hanging over his head for a trespass grow. Attorney gets paid (not complaining) but what is the recourse for the property owner? It is hard to sit back & relax with $10k per day on your mind.

  • Not that long ago a certain website played a game with its users called “ find the weed” ….. just sayin

  • Go outside at night… look for the drones.oops”satellites “ everywhere. They fly in square grid patterns, rising and dipping periodically in a straight line. Watch them long enough and you will see flashes of green red and blue. Currently over thorn,ap, China creek etc EVERY NIGHT after dark.WAKE UP, Humboldters! How is this spying legal if you’re allowed a reasonable expectation of privacy on YOUR land? And ytf are we allowing the supes to tell us we need a greenhouse permit to grow food?! Put your big girl panties on and start fighting back before our entire economy and culture are destroyed!

  • Oh please! How many of those 10,000 a day fines have been paid. ? Trying to justify taxpayer money waste not backed up by real data.

    • None. It’s all scare tactics. It’s not even legal. I know people who refuse to pay, get a lawyer and get off. It’s legal to have a greenhouse and use water that’s on your property. Don’t believe the hype.

  • Sounds really Orwellian and creepy

  • Abate the award!

    Anyone know how long it takes to get a permit for a peaceful protest? And is anyone out there good at organizing demonstrations? I would love to participate in a protest when this award is given to the BOS on Tuesday. I’m terrible at leading the organization of such things, but if someone else steps up, I will 100% help with as much organization/word of mouth as possible. And I can transport 6 others from SoHum with me to the protest!

    • I agree with your point. However, peaceful gatherings are still OK. Realistically, the award has already been abated ! Look at the source of the award and you’ll agree that the County has in fact been exalted by the worst of California.

      It’s the same as the bottom of the trash barrel congratulating the next layer up because it smells better.

  • Does everyone realize there was too many people trying to grow weed?
    We had to get rid of half or more of the growers in Humboldt, its called market control.
    Weed was going to crash to being worth $300 a lb. We should be happy about the abatement’s your 6 plants are now worth $6,000 not $1,200
    There was too many people growing before, many of them did not even contribute locally to the Humboldt economy.

    • Come on Joe, you’re describing population control. Surely you realize that the State has not yet been able to control the market. They are trying to control the cultivators. I don’t think we’re ready to hand over the control of cannabis cultivation.

    • Unfortunately most small growers cannot afford the fees ..its really expensive and there are new costs every couple of months. They were not kidding you have to pay to play. Processing cannot be done onsite without a commercial building so you either pay or you have biomass. Lbs are still going to be at lower prices. The mega farms here and down south did not limit the amount of cannabis being produced just the amount of people allowed to farm….socal has fixed the pesticide issues they were having. Best case scenario for humboldt is to team up, lower your cost of production, and use best management practices. Make sure you are farming in a way that benefits the environment and is special.

      Once consumers catch on to the unique and innovative farms out there we might have a chance together.
      The county needs to start treating this like other AG products though because that is what this is. Also you cant afford to do fixes ,add infrastructure, or build a buisness if you’re operating at a loss because of fees. For example I wanted to put in banker plants for biodiversity but could not afford the trees. Im grafting trees and cloning elderberries but that’s going to take a lot more time to get up and going. I also cannot afford to pay myself so I struggle to pay for childcare so I can work on the farm. No farmer whatever the produce should have to pay this much just to exist.
      We need people to be able to take care of themselves and Agriculture done right can really benefit both the health of the earth but the people working the land as well. Honestly I knew a lot of single moms or just people who were struggling at jobs that did not pay well who were able to survive because of part time trim gigs. Consolidation of businesses does not benefit our community at large and cash generated leaves local economy. People over profit Humboldt!

      • “No farmer whatever the produce should have to pay this much just to exist.”

        Unfortunately farmers have been dealing with commercialization of their crops for some time.

        There is simply less room for mistakes, where there were very few before.

        • True- farmer is living in a make believe world. We have no competitive advantage in humboldt- little ag land, far from labor, interstates, a big money city… which is great for quality of life but tough for any commercial enterprise.
          When fed leg happens we will be forgotten about for cannabis. So while it may make some sense now to get permits to keep the building dept off your ass, don’t think you are making anything that will last.

  • This is all bullshit they have ben using this already.if you do not pick up letter “proof or service”from the post office and return it to the sender there is no proof of service from the county therefor the time for you to clean up your farm never starts.this is only a scare tatic. there is no way to obtain a warrant through satellite it has to be through officers eyes thats why they fly around in helecopters to obtain a warrant. come on now . This is only to scare you. Are you scared?property is worth less if you cant grow anyways.remember it is legal.

  • It should read. Fine them, abate them, relocate them.

  • Any photo of any property in Rancho Sequioa will show serious enviornmental damage. Enforcement is highly selective.

    • Not true. There are around 400 parcels in Rancho. Many have never been touched in any way. Most of those are steep and are covered in a thick forest of mature tan oaks.

  • We the corparation,by the corporation, in corruption we stand

    The very day they retained control of the board of supervisors!!!! What really saddens me is that only 22% of registered voters showed up to vote.we didn’t vote them out now we are going to be robbed by em.me included my house isn’t permitted and don’t have the money to get it permitted so wher does that leave me??? Am I going to be condemned evan though my house is perfectly fine. Or am I just going to get ripped off ILLEGALY UNCONSTITUTIONALY .this is what you Estelle supporters have given your community!!!!! Thanks

  • I have sent the California State Association of Counties this email. I have forwarded copies to Supervisor Estelle Fennell and Supervisor Mike Wilson asking that they reject the award. If you have an opinion about it you might do the same. The award is scheduled for March 10 at the Board meeting at 9:30 if you would like to express an opinion in person. The official press release sounds like it was written by Planning and not CSAC, and contains several misstatements of fact, of course.

    Hello, I am a lawyer in Humboldt County. I just read a press release stating that you are giving the county an award for its cannabis abatement program. Have you lost your minds? This program involved misusing satellite imagery to determine if unpermitted cannabis was being grown. The imagery was primarily that of greenhouses, not cannabis cultivation, but the Code Enforcement Unit blithely proceeded on the assumption that every greenhouse had cannabis in it, and threatened about 1000 individuals and families in the county with enormous penalties, often up to $30,000 per day, for unpermitted cannabis cultivation. No on the ground verification was used, and a good number of false positives occurred. People who went to the County Code Enforcement Unit about these notices without legal representation were subjected to high pressure bullying and threats of penalties amounting to seizure of their homes, causing some to agree to thousands of dollars in fines as they were so frightened. Well over 1 million dollars was extorted from the already embattled small landowners of the county with a lack of reasonable suspicion or due process. Those who refused the extortion and appealed ended up in kangaroo administrative hearings run by the county with penalties of hundreds of thousands of dollars requested. Cases challenging the results of some of these hearings have been taken to the Humboldt County Superior Court, and may well go further. At the least, you should not make awards until the legality of the program is adjudicated.

    The program has been a civil rights disaster, and a taste of what life under Big Brother can become. If you need to take any notice of this program your proper response would be to suspend Humboldt County from membership in your organization until the program was dismantled and restitution made to the innocents who were victimized by it.

    Would you like a presentation to your selection committee for this award by some of the victims of the program you believe is praiseworthy? I believe I could arrange it for you.

    I suggest you do your due diligence on this program before judging it. Giving this award will be a blot on the integrity and purpose your your organization, and in years to come when the truth comes out, you will be issuing statements of regret and apology.

    Sincerely,

    Eugene Denson, CSB 202415.

    • Mr. Denson, I hope you can make an impact against this overstepping by local government.

      I support legal cannabis, tax revenues, business and enforcement.

      But sometimes enforcement tactics go too far.

      Thanks for your effort.

      I hope many reasonable citizens attend the Board meeting you mentioned and voice their protest.

    • ED, can you post the original 1.0 ordinance? I can’t seem to find it before the revisions.

    • Thankyou and Greatly appreciated ED! Well said! It is a civil rights disaster! Thanks for naming it as such! The fines are absurd and awarded for the tiniest of infractions. They are the highest from any county in the state! I mean truely, what is really the difference if I had a Victory garden full of vegetables or a Reasonably sized Victory garden full of Cannabis? Who does it bother? If I am a good neighbor, have reasonable water storage.. Have a small imprint of say 3 acres out of 40… It bothers no one… It’s ‘legal’ right? The punishment doesn’t fit the ‘crime’ in many cases… The state has allowed an absurd amount of Cannabis to be grown through out the state, soo why the eye in the sky looking for every single plant? Obscure and overkill certainly!

  • I agree these satellite searches are stepping on our rights I agree with the supreme court! But the county is doing what ever they can until the court forces them to stop. Isn’t the county now, “looking the other way?”
    Just like the county allowed the non permitted buildings to be built. For years they just looked the other way, the tax assessors were out assessing the parcels and never said anything!
    So parcels were sold and the new owners never knew anything was wrong. They are now into financial trouble thanks to the “county’s actions taken before the parcel was sold.”
    This is all the county’s doing so they are passing the buck! We all are paying for their lazy actions of the past. their answer is OH WELL SOMEONE HAS TO PAY!
    There has to be some way the county can not force someone into poverty through fines.

    I am disgusted with the citizens of this state being so lazy they can’t bother to vote! I also think those running depend on it! They don’t like it when we are watching their every move.

  • They say they are doing this for the environment. Um hmm. I bet on their lunchbreaks they are investigating illegal and damaging logging practices. ‘Cause they care so much. Not.

    • Exactly. Let us not forget Hack and squirt of really harmful pesticides is still allowed by Humboldt redwood company (and others) on thousands of acres of forests in Humboldt county and the lawmakers that claim to care about the environmental impact of industry, do nothing to stop it. It’s really ironic that those who cannot afford a permit are the least likely to harm the land too. Yet small farmers are demonized and called greenrushers by policy makers and county workers to justify such inhumane policies by claiming to protect the environment. Greenrushers are supposedly those who made lots of money in Cannabis right? It costs lots money to buy a permit right? So…Who does the expensive and complex permit program support? John Ford said it himself- they are not abating bigger grows bc they have permits.

  • It’s true what’s the drone quadcopter that comes after midnight, thermal imaging? I mean what else can you see when it’s dark outside . Saw it 3 times in two weeks between 11pm and 1am.

    • That’s probably just your neighbor messing with you. If cops were surveilling the tri-county area with quad-copters, it would take QUITE a while.

      • Not a neighbor spying, who does that all night long, plus it’s got to be a pricey quadcopter to fly out of line if site to the ridge tops…. you think it’s my neighbor messing with me, what kind of tweaked is flying drones at 1 am multiple times a week?? This was a year ago and no rip off or enforcement…
        How would you know if it’s been at your spot?? Ya don’t unless you have someone camping onsite who happens to get up to take a leak at midnight and sees it fly over.. always from the same direction, probably flying a grid, we estimated it at 4ft wide, it’s hard to tell from the green and red lights since it’s dark out.

        • It’s been seen by many people in the willow creek area. Sane, non drugged people. Who knows whether it’s ripoffs or govt agencies but it is very disturbing.

  • I called Code Enforcement after receiving an abatement letter. The person I talked to admitted the satellite photos often don’t match well with the actual parcel lines. In this case my neighbors vegetable cold frames located next to their house attributed to my property. Since I live on a designated, ‘critically impacted watershed’. I mailed my reply with aerial photos of the 326 acre ‘approved’, ‘selective cut’, (read clear cut) timber harvest on the property below me. The timber harvest is a scene of sever devastation and is on slopes almost too steep to walk. So much for critically impacted watershed management.

    “Some will rob you with a six gun and some with a fountain pen”

    • Yes Karl, between the cannabis Abatements & the upcoming Safe Homes Act, many will be “legally extorted” out of their property. I guess the Planning Dept. thinks being homeless & broke from the legal processes is “Safer” than living in a 50 yr old home that can never be up to present codes.

      • for sure; legally extorted out of their property BUT not lawfully. There is a big difference between the two!

  • I want to comment on this topic, coming from a different angle. Article 1 Section 1 of the California Constitution; QUOTE: ALL PEOPLE ARE BY NATURE FREE AND INDEPENDENT AND HAVE INALIENABLE RIGHTS. AMONG THESE ARE ENJOYING AND DEFENDING LIFE AND LIBERTY, ACQUIRING, POSSESSING, AND PROTECTING PROPERTY, AND PURSUING AND OBTAINING SAFETY, HAPPINESS, AND PRIVACY. OK, here is my beef with county government. What does being FREE mean to the Supes, John Ford? What does INDEPENDENT mean to the Supes and John Ford? What does enjoying LIFE and LIBERTY mean to the Supes and John Ford? ACQUIRING and POSSESSING and PROTECTING PROPERTY MEAN TO THE SUPES and JOHN FORD? It would seem to me if I acquired and possess my 40 acre farm I should be allowed to build a 10X20 Greenhouse to grow food and plant tree seeds in such without begging (that’s what asking for permission is) the Government that is suppose to protect my RIGHTS from such intrusions. As far as I’m concerned I shouldn’t have to beg a government agency for any kind of PRIOR RESTRAINT to do what I want without hurting my neighbors or the environment. Just doesn’t make sense under our California Constitution. Prior Restraint is illegal in almost all lawful cases. Prior Restraint means you have to get approval (and always pay monies and sign a contract that is not a mutual, both parties are winners contract. It’s called an adhesion contract! AND HERE IS MY FAVORITE QUOTE FROM ARTICLE 1 SECTION 1: AND PURSUING AND OBTAINING SAFETY, HAPPINESS, AND PRIVACY. What if I said I am not HAPPY that I have to beg the county to build a greenhouse, to me that is de-grading and not acceptable at least to me. After all I just read to you from our Constitution that I have LIBERTY, FREEDOM, AND INDEPENDENCE from such actions by our county government. I didn’t write the law of the land I just found the LAW. Another legal thing: Does a county ordinance or a county code usurp the constitution? The answer is NO, NO, NO! I would like to read an answer on what the supes think of my questions; in which I’m not going to hold my breath. The Humboldt county government at all levels follow county codes and ordinances and policies and not “WE THE PEOPLE” rights. And yes I’m not only going to bitch I have a solution if any body would like to hear? FRIENDS IN THE LAW. I MISS YOU CENTRAL!

  • Are they seeing on their imagery the mess our roads are in? How the old logging sites are causing landslides and silt runoff? Are they seeing how upstream dams are weakening our river flow? Are they seeing that our downtowns and businesses are failing? Are they seeing from their satellite the state our schools are in? Are they seeing the homeless camps that need attention? Well if not, that imagery seems pretty biased.

  • Many of the “posters” clearly did not watch the video because the
    Video Clearly says “ IF you don’t stop your illegal activity, You will be subject to a fine. If they did not cause environmental damage, and they stopped the illegal cultivation , there were NO consequences….there ARE NO , NOR HAS BEEN , ANY FINES.
    If anyone IS paying a large fine, it’s because they ignored the warning and continued With their destructive activities that were destroying the environment.
    What is astounding is that none of these same posters EVER have anything to say about all of the environmental devastation that the GREENRUSHER era brought in. Including Ed Denson. Why?

    • I agree that it is very effective and has made my road very quiet and I appreciate that. But looking down from a satellite onto my personal space is very invasive. I have seen the images they have and it is very close and distinct. That is what I have a problem with.
      They have also made prices higher than ever so I congratulate them for that as well.

  • There has been a great deal of environmental damage done by the green rushers, much of it in the period 2012-16. This on top of the massive damage done by the logging pre-1980. The question is who is going to do something about it, and how? The county’s solution is not so much to remediate the damage as to fine the present owners of the land regardless of whether they caused the damage or not, which is certainly not justice. We have hundreds of miles of dirt roads in this county, mostly from the logging days, which were cut into the hills with no thought of environmental consequence, and which to this day pour sediment into the streams every time it rains. The county should step up, take responsibility for allowing the roads to be made this way, incorporate them into the county road system and fix them. I mentioned this to Supervisor Fennell and she looked at me as if I were crazy. Why? Because the county prefers that the small landowner bear the burden of restoration instead of the relatively rich county that manages to turn environmental destruction into a gold mine of fines and fees. Meanwhile the county and allied state agencies go after everyone who has a water line in the creek, or a pile of trash on their land as if this were going to fix things. I say to the county do not complain of the speck in your neighbors eye, but rather of the log in yours. I say to Hippicrits to try to get a grip on the biggest part of the problem instead of railing about small growers.

    • In my 1911 I trust

      You give us hope Ed. I enjoy reading what you have to say.

    • Leading by example.
      Straightforward thoughtful analysis of the current events.
      Blessings and gratitude Ed.

    • There’s a disconnect in the thinking that says because damage was allowed prior to it being considered illegal, that the agencies that didn’t have jurisdiction or authority to stop it then must now take responsibility and fix it. But that people who do damage now that is both illegal and visible by satellite should not be held responsible because they are little and fixing it is expensive?

      The County is not some money generating manufacturer. All money spent by them is taken from people like me. So when you say the County should pay for fixing what was done in the name of profit , you are demanding that people who did nothing wrong nor profited by doing wrong must pay to fix what what done and profited illegally.

      The idea that someone looking at my place from thousands of feet away is such a severe violation of my privacy that it should be prevented, even it it means damaging and illegal behavior is encouraged, is even more distressing because it is saying keep on doing what is crippling to the environment and, in your opinion, the public is required to fix what they are prevented from stopping.

    • One Courtroom at a Time

      Justice can be a slow train to move, but let’s hope people understand the wisdom of informed consent.

      Tall Fences make good neighbors.

  • We Don't Need No Sticking Permit

    If any of the board of supervisors or any county government official has grown cannabis in the past, they should be fired or at least not allowed a voice in this matter. Thanks say this in response to the county request to remove anything that grew cannabis before. They are trying to say if you have lots of soil, you can no longer use them.

  • there isn’t this level of compliance and abatement in any other industry besides cannabis. Nobody gives a fuck what chemicals people put in their body when they’re smoking cigarettes and how those plants are grown but by God if you smoke marijuana that’s not organic and in a greenhouse you’re going to go to hell and prison.

    Every single one of us is a coward for not fighting back against the state. But then again that’s exactly what they want us to be when they allow us to grow marijuana and consume it. It pacifies the mind.

  • I purchased land from a logging company. They held up the transfer for 3 years. I found out that it was because of liability issues due to the damage they had caused by building roads with no considerations of water runoff and sediment. There is massive damage in the county caused by logging. The county did nothing about it. Now they want to find e everyone.

  • Off with their heads

    Good Lord, There goes the neighborhood.

  • It’s honestly funny seeing all these people falling for the poliTRICKS smoke and mirrors. The left blame the right, the right blames the left and all the wealthiest people in America laugh at the divide and conquer techniques working. When will people wake up and realize there’s no Democracy only hypocrisy. The USA is a corporate oligarchy that’s run by Corporations and Banks. If you have only been to K-12, you’ve been indoctrinated a don’t truly understand this government whatsoever. The people gave up their rights long ago. And the constitution is no longer relevant to today’s time, that’s why it continues to fall apart. We can’t go by something that was written hundreds of years ago and act like it’s still relevant. You will continue to get eaten up by the machine called the US government (which there is no left/right, that’s just labels to keep you divided), because people are close minded,blinded, lazy, & fail to educate themselves.

  • John Ford is worthless. We tried to get something done about the grow by us that is within 600 feet of a bus stop and we’re told because it is a medical grow it is ok. That is not what the ordinance that I read states and then they let the same people put plants on an empty neighboring piece of property so they could have more than 6 plants. Yes he is only in it for the money and could careless about anything else.

    • In my 1911 I trust

      You made a big deal about someone’s 6 plants? Wow. Who cares if its within 600ft of the bus stop? Move the bus stop down the road a little ways then! Never hurt kids to walk a little farther, but it sure is hard to pick up and move someone’s property. Yeah I doubt john ford or anyone else gives a shit about 6 plants.

  • Fear propaganda.
    Even with this technology expect only 2 to 3 busts per week next season. They only have so much man power capabilities and don’t want to start a war in the county. Take the abatement to court and flood the system with such cases. They need solid proof in court unlike in the abatement process. Total joke.

  • Oklahoma! It’s like Humboldt without the Hills!

  • First they came for the potfarmers and I didnt say anything because I didn’t like the pot farmers…next they came for….

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