Buck Weckman is a 36 year resident of Yuba County. He formed Yuba County FACT (Families against Cannabis Trafficking)16485 Vierra Road, Rackerby and the Political Action Committee, Stop Commercial Pot. He had 33 years of fire Experience with Cal Fire including thirteen years as the Yuba County foothill area Battalion Chief.
On February 9TH of 2016 the Yuba County Board of Supervisors unanimously declared a State of Emergency due to the extended drought and related tree mortality. According to Yuba County documents the State of Emergency was justified because “tree mortality is damaging the county’s watershed, roads and structures to a point that exceeds the county’s functional capability”. Fifth District Supervisor, Randy Fletcher said: “it’s crucial the county aggressively address the problem to mitigate public safety risk and property damage”.
On August 8th 2017 I presented a draft State of Emergency Resolution to the Board of Supervisors due to the impact of the illegal marijuana grower invasion into Yuba County. A copy of a revised and updated version of that Resolution can be seen on the Stop Commercial Pot, Face Book Site. The justification for this State of emergency far exceeds the danger of “tree mortality”; in fact it could be called a Design for Disaster.
Certainly part of the justification for the State of Emergency is the criminals, home invasion robberies and murders that follow the marijuana industry. We were reminded of this fact recently with the shooting of two of our Sheriff’s Officers in Oregon House. There are also well known environmental damages associated with the so-called “farmers” that hide their activities behind Gates, Dogs and Guns.
Currently there exists an even more urgent danger to the public; the risk and high potential of a devastating wild land fire emanating from these illegal marijuana operations. A good number of illegal grows are conducted by out of County, out of State or out of Country invaders who care little about Yuba County. It is clear that these illegal growers are causing more and more fires. Did you know that the revised Cal Fire reporting system may include a new category of fire causes related to marijuana activities?
We know there are thousands of illegal grows, all a fire potential, in Yuba County. Taking a Yuba County representative area of Vierra Road in Rackerby, Google Earth reveled thirty three substantial (50 or more plants) marijuana grows in four miles. These grows included 25 green house, associated structures and thousands of plants. Frustrated by the Gates, Dogs and Guns our County and State Inspectors generally cannot inspect for building, electrical, equipment and fire safety violations. One specific grow was behind a big iron gate, a mile of dirt road, contained over 100 outdoor plants, a large green house and what appeared to be a modular home. The property was sold to a Sunnyvale resident in 2013 and no building permits have been issued for fourteen years.
This specific area and many others in Yuba County present an immediate fire risk danger to our small communities. There is no doubt that a fire originating on Vierra Road, due to the southern exposure, prevailing southwest winds and upslope topography could be knocking on the door of Brownsville in just a few hours.
I was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our Fifth District Supervisor, County Sheriff and County District Attorney in our efforts to defeat pro-marijuana Measures A and B and E. However, in this case, I do not agree with their statements that the Yuba Foothills are a safe place. Foothill resident safety includes more factors than just the crime rate; it includes safe drinking water, a bully free community and fear of a large fire burning up entire communities.
I hope all Yuba County Leaders will support the State of Emergency and give us another tool for obtaining outside help, including the Federal Government.
cutline 16485 Vierra Road, Rackerby, Owners Mark and Jeanette Baker Sunnyvale, Ca.