Up in Smoke

As a "green rush" devastates Humboldt County's redwood forests, local growers are trying to create a sustainable marijuana industry.
Apr 18, 2016·
Todd Woody is TakePart's editorial director, environment.

Environmentalists in Humboldt County, California, waged a long battle in the 1990s to save the largest ancient redwood forest left in private ownership from a timber company owned by a corporate raider. Now a “green rush” threatens Humboldt County’s redwood ecosystem as outsiders move in and start industrial-scale marijuana farms that are fragmenting forests, polluting creeks, diverting water, and poisoning endangered wildlife.

As law enforcement tries to reign in renegade growers, environmentalist have joined organic marijuana farmers to push for government regulations to limit water and pesticide use and create a sustainable industry that will preserve both redwood forests and the county’s biggest business.

FULL COVERAGE: Fight for the Forests