JPR radio has a brand new piece about the toll marijuana growing may take on our local fish. A quick overview of the main points can be found in these few excerpts.

Scott Greacen: “I think it’s pretty clear that the marijuana industry at this point is the biggest single business in terms of its impact on the river.” …

But Kristin Nevedal, who heads the Emerald Growers Association, says as the rural region has become more suburbanized, the blame can’t be laid just on pot farmers.

Kristin Nevedal: “This is also water that’s going to livestock, it’s going to lawns, it’s going to veggie gardens, it’s going to showers.”

Scott Bauer of the Department of Fish and Wildlife says the problem is that pot, unlike most industries, is not regulated. His agency wants to issue water diversion permits for agricultural use “with no questions asked” about the kind of agriculture the water will be used to grow. But he isn’t getting many takers.

Hezekiah Allen says that is because “[t]he culture of prohibition has really damaged the farmers’ trust in the government and government agencies.” Allen touts the Best Practices Manual as a possible aide in the effort to get growers to be environmentally sound. (The first version can be found here but Allen says an expanded version is being developed.)

Those are just the main points but the whole piece is worth a read/listen if for nothing else than to see what factions in our communities take what position.

You can listen to or read the piece here.