$2.5M Fund To Help Small Farmers in Humboldt, Trinity Counties Unveiled


Help is on the best way for struggling farmers in two of the Emerald Triangle’s three counties, with funding out there to assist enhance drought resilience and licensing compliance.

Cannabis for Conservation (CFC), a Humboldt County, California-based 501(c)(3) environmental nonprofit, introduced $2.5 million in grant funds to help small hashish farmers by the California Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Cannabis Restoration Grant Program through the Certified Cultivator Funding Alternative, in line with a Feb. 28 press release.  

Small farmers within the Emerald Triangle, an space the place the financial system is constructed on hashish farming, have been “pushed to the brink” because of the affect of legalization, Cal Issues reports. It’s a area with over 1 / 4 million folks, and almost everybody dwelling within the area is both directly or indirectly reliant on cannabis. Hashish has been the world’s staple crop for the reason that ‘70s, with some farms in operation for generations. The rollout of grant funding couldn’t be extra pressing, in line with locals.

The 2 grants that have been introduced—Implementing Drought Resilience Methods on Humboldt County Hashish Farms and Provisional to Annual License Transitions for Trinity County Cultivators—will collectively help 89 farms throughout eight precedence watersheds with environmental work. 

“We see an amazing alternative for conservation with this nascent trade, particularly provided that many farmers personal giant tracts of land in probably the most biodiverse ecoregions on the planet,” mentioned Jackee Riccio, the co-founder and government director of CFC.

CFC’s Drought Resilience Program goals to enhance sustainable water consumption on some 17 farms. They’ll do that by putting in rainwater catchment techniques, rising water storage capability, and/or hardening and enhancing irrigation. This, they consider, will enhance on-farm drought resilience and scale back direct impacts to water sources throughout low-flow intervals. 

In line with the Environmental Safety Company (EPA), “the frequency, depth, and period of drought occasions” is increasing at charges not seen earlier than. 

The purpose of this isn’t to remodel small farms into monopolies, nonetheless: CFC stipulates that none of those water enhancements shall be used to extend cultivation footprints, farm dimension, or variety of licenses, however moderately scale back or get rid of extraction from water sources throughout dry intervals and in some circumstances, convert farms to 100% water storage.

The Provisional to Annual License Program, alternatively, goals to help 72 Trinity cultivators in attaining an annual County and Division of Hashish Management (DCC) license. The grant goals to supply skilled assist to small farmers to finalize annual licenses, together with “finishing documentation for California Environmental High quality Act (CEQA) compliance and Particular-Standing Species Mitigation and permit for a Technical Advisory Committee between CDFW, CFC, and the county to shortly resolve licensing obstacles that come up.”

CEQA is a California regulation relationship again to 1970 that requires environmental assessment of proposed cultivation tasks. All annual state cannabis licenses must comply with CEQA. The DCC might solely concern an annual license as soon as a mission complies with CEQA. As well as, DCC has requirements for normal working procedures, coaching staff, and the way operations have to be arrange. 

CFC’s utilized conservation method focuses on collaborative, on-farm analysis, biodiversity enhancements, and environmental schooling. 

The aim is to convey collectively scientists and farmers to implement peer-reviewed conservation practices, with advantages supplied to wildlife, land, and water. 

“Working with farmers and remodeling monocultures into useful agroecosystems is a precedence technique amongst conservationists globally and we’re doing our half in that right here, within the coronary heart of hashish nation to return to the back-to-the-land values that this trade was born from,” Riccio added.

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