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Illegal pot farmers killing rare wildlife in California

Between 80 and 90 percent of dead fishers in study area found with traces of rodenticides

Marijuana growing on national forest land near Winter Park Ski Area.

A rare fisher. Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —While comic book characters like the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers may live up to the stereotype of Earth-loving hippies, the reality of pot-growing on public lands is far uglier.

In a new study, UC Davis researchers found that rat poison deployed by illegal marijuana growers is killing rare forest mammals like the fisher, which makes its home in some of California’s most remote backcountry terrain.

Fishers in California, Oregon and Washington have been declared a candidate species for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act.

“I am really shocked by the number of fishers that have been exposed to significant levels of multiple second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides,” said pathologist Leslie Woods of the UC Davis California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, which conducted the necropsies. Continue reading

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