James Butler: Where has all the common sense gone? | TheUnion.com

James Butler: Where has all the common sense gone?

Last August, an article in The Union about two men who were caught drawing water out of the Yuba River by a Fish & Game warden, ostensibly “to water their marijuana grow.” I thought, “How absurd can you get?”

I have lived on the Yuba River for more than 40 years now and its present flow is about 800 cubic feet per second.

So for the sake of conversation, let’s say these two men had a 5,000 gallon tank truck. A cubic foot of water is about 8 gallons, so in a second — 8 gallons multiplied by 800 — 6,400 gallons flow down the Yuba. So that means the two men drew less than a second of water to fill their 5,000-gallon water truck.

Do you see how ridiculous this is? This is like “stealing” air to fill your tires.

The CDF draws water out of lakes or streams or even someone’s swimming pool to fight fires. They even dip water out of the Yuba with helicopters. That’s OK. But if a man dips water out of the Yuba to water his “grow,” it’s a crime.

Besides us “growers” are being accused of “harming the environment” and “illegally killing wildlife” and allowing pesticides to infiltrate into streams.

I don’t suppose there are hunters killing wildlife? How about all the deer and raccoons that get slaughtered by cars on our highways every day? How about all the pesticides the rice farmers use by crop dusters?

Oh, and we strip the land to grow marijuana. How about the loggers stripping the forests? But if a man clears some brush for his grow, he’s “stripping” the land.

Whose land is this? My land or the environmentalists’ land?

How absurd can you get? Where has all the common sense gone?

James L. Butler lives in Nevada County.

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