Thursday, 2 October 2014

Biologists identify pot gardens as salmon threat

This 2013 photo provided by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife shows a department environmental scientist holding a dead juvenile Coho...GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Water use and other actions by the marijuana industry in the Emerald Triangle of Northern California and Southern Oregon are threatening salmon already in danger of extinction, federal biologists said Tuesday.
Concerns about the impact of pot farming were raised by the NOAA Fisheries Service in its final recovery plan for coho salmon in the region. The full plan was to be posted on the agency's website.

A copy obtained in advance calls for determining then decreasing the amount of water that pot growers illegally withdraw from creeks where young fish struggle to survive.

Pot is legally grown in the region for medical purposes and illegally for the black market.

Other threats from the unregulated industry include clear-cutting forests to create pot plantations, building roads that send sediment into salmon streams, and spreading fertilizer and pesticides that poison the water.

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