Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 17, 2022

Six-Year Study Shows Downstream Contamination from Illegal Cannabis Grow Sites

U.S.Forest News Release

A study recently published in the Water Quality Research Journal by Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations ecologists and partners discovered surface water contamination below illegal cannabis grow sites.

Previously, Forest Service ecologists documented the environmental threat illegal grow sites posed to terrestrial wildlife, including the federally protected northern spotted owl and Pacific fisher. However, little was known about the threats illegal cannabis grow sites pose to nearby surface waters and its wildlife. After six years of monitoring, illegal and banned pesticides have been unexpectedly detected in surface waters below these sites.

National forest lands support over 50% of California’s freshwater, 75% of California’s fish and wildlife and 62% of native plants. The surface water in national forests provides critical aquatic and riparian habitat for many species, plus clean water to rural communities, agriculture, municipalities and Indigenous tribes.

Read more at Six-Year Study Shows Downstream Contamination from Illegal Cannabis Grow Sites


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