Prevent Runoff from Cannabis Grows to Save Salmon


Target: Charlton H. Bonham, Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Goal: Prevent harmful runoff waste from cannabis grows to protect salmon

Even in locations where cannabis is legal for medical and recreational purposes, illegal grows are causing devastating environmental effects. According to a study conducted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the 4,000 or so  cannabis grows in Humboldt County pose a runoff waste threat to the state’s third largest watershed.

Because of regulatory restrictions in the state, cannabis growers still find it necessary to grow illegally in the dense state and national forests. Many of these illegal grows redirect stream water and utilize chemicals that are otherwise banned in the parks. To keep grow operations undercover, growers choose deeply wooded locations, which require irrigated water through diverted systems of pipes and reservoirs.

Cannabis growers do not yet have access to programs and government resources to control irrigation runoff, which has impacted the Chinook and Coho salmon populations in the Klamath and Eel Rivers of California. Because this ecosystem is already fragile, the added runoff is putting the salmon at an even greater risk. Diverted streams have caused natural streams to dry up and salmon to die.

Sign the below petition to urge the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to work with cannabis growers in the state to prevent hazardous runoff waste. The growing and use of cannabis continues to be a controversial issue, but protecting the forests and saving fragile salmon populations is not controversial at all. These two groups must work together for the sake of the environment that they both depend upon and love.


Dear Director Bonham,

As you know, illegal cannabis grows are causing runoff pollution and affecting salmon populations in the Klamath and Eel Rivers of California. Medical marijuana has been legal in the region for quite some time, but demand is exceeding supply and growers are forced to use unsafe methods in the deep woods of California state and national parks.

I am urging you to work together with cannabis growers for the sake of environmental preservation. Put the controversy aside for a moment to consider the impact that illegal grows are having on California’s forests and rivers. The Chinook and Coho salmon populations depend upon natural flowing streams to survive, and a plan to cease harmful irrigation rerouting must be implemented before all of the natural streams dry up.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit:  чãvìnkωhỉtз via Flickr

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