Pot is a $16bn cash crop, California’s largest. It dwarfs the common crops out there, and in my view is desperate for regulation. The Nature Conservancy of California has done remarkable work over the last year driven in part by the water bond to quantify the damage (50k growing sites) and the cost of monitoring ($25mm/yr) and clean up ($500mm estimated). Growers pick isolated and pristine areas far afield and devastate the local watersheds by diverting water at exactly the time of year fish and often farmers need it. Workers will live on the land for 5 mths at a time with open waste pits. Rodent poison is killing predators up the chain from small mammals to black bears. It is gross. The article linked above will shed some more eloquent light.
I have have had the privilege of growing the California Leadership Council from scratch three years ago with head of California chapter Mike Sweeney. An impactful and diverse group, nimble and additive to the Conservancy, and well liked by the scientists and staff. I was able to sit in on the full board meeting today, and as ever am blown away by the CA solutions that are now being scaled globally. One great example is in fisheries where TNC has worked with fisherman to drive sustainable fishing that is also more economical and leverages the technology of e catch. What I appreciate is that TNC works to preserve livelihoods (fishing, ranching,farming, timber) and drives collaboration across interest groups (vital with controversial topics like water). In many cases the land they own act as testing grounds for innovative and sustainable practice that can be economically viable. Not either or but and. To me that is the next chapter of conservation. You might not care about conservation, but if better practices mean cleaner air, water, healthier land, more greenery, more enduring business then it makes sense.
My back was hating me after sitting in meetings, but it was nice to get that intellectual stimulation.
I ripped through a fun novel, The Boston Girl, by Red Tent author Anita Diamant. She set it up as a granddaughter interviewing her 85 yr old immigrant grandma. An easy and lovely read.
Mom going to write a separate post on all the services that have been helpful to me during cancer both times. Many will have non-cancer applications should hat be of interest.
A few more mountain pics for your entertainment