To those who care, Trinity County has suffered the ill and devastating effects of the unregulated cannabis trade for decades and now it’s time to take advantage of the new industry it is becoming and embrace the hard-working farmers who are struggling to set the standard of good stewardship of the resources of Trinity County.
I have been on both sides of the cannabis debate. We have endured the destructive side of no regulation or enforcement in the past and have witnessed the comeback as regulation has begun to take effect. We owned several lots in The Pines that we bought to go camping on with our family and friends in 1999. We loved it so much that we built a cabin and lived the off-grid life for two years and no one ever knew we were there.
That was until 215 came along and unleashed the Gorilla Growers on us all. Down came the trees, and as they piled up along the perimeter of our property, the fire danger was obvious to all of us locals.
But no one did anything to stop it or the grading which caused clogged culverts and washouts every winter while the troublemakers were back home whereever they came from with all the easy money they made at our financial and ecological expense. We escaped in a nick of time before the fires came and burned it up!
We moved close to Hayfork and the Hayfork Creek borders one side of our property. The first year here the creek dried up. Before it went completely dry we found some good gold holes but were frustrated with our sluice box because the water level would go up and down every time someone up stream would start pumping. The next year regulation began to take effect. The water ran a little higher and didn’t dry up. We know because we weren’t able to dig our gold holes from the year before.
The next year as the cannabis gardens started popping up around us again, I decided if you can’t beat them, join them, but with the goal to show them that it can be done the right way without the environmental damage. We have spared no expense to not only not hurt the habitat but have enhanced it, creating an oasis for all kinds of birds, snakes and even gophers. We don’t even kill the gophers, we leave them for the snakes. Year after year the creek level has stayed higher and the water has run clearer with almost no algae blooms like before.
Then last year in the middle of the summer, with no rain, the creek began to rise and never went back down. That’s because now instead of pumping out of the creeks, farmers are buying water and adding it to the water table and the creeks. The creek is looking awesome this year and it looks like we will not get to those gold holes any time soon.
Thanks to all the compliant farmers for your hard work to be compliant. We are the champions of the environment, not the bad guys. Let’s hope all cannabis farmers come into compliance. The sooner the better for all of us.