Damage done to wildlife and the environment by illegal marijuana growers is causing great concern, especially for officials with the state Department of Fish and Game.
The evidence is growing – pesticides used on illegal marijuana grows may be sickening and killing wildlife. Specifically, a new study documents deaths of fishers, a forest carnivore of the weasel family, in remote forested areas due to rat poisons, but Fish and Game Warden Patrick Foy said the damage goes far beyond one species.
“No question. It’s not just fishers, it impacts all scavengers, all the animals that scavenge on carcasses,” said Foy.
The recent study by UC Davis Wildlife Veterinarian Deana Clifford said there is now evidence that pot grows use large quantities of pesticides and poisons and they have a longtime impact on wildlife.
Tulare County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Boudreaux said his officers have found all kinds of pesticides and poisons at grow sites in the forest. On top of that, he said, they have found remains of wildlife killed by the gardeners.
“We find rattlesnakes that are killed, deer and bears. We find rat poison there that’s to kill squirrels and mice,” he said.
And, what they are finding is not your garden variety poison or pesticide. It is illegal stuff brought here from Mexico.
“These gangs are using that (Mexico products) because they’re more effective,” said Foy. “That’s pretty potent stuff,” he added.