The land that now hosts a Mendocino County cannabis farm has a past, which should be recognized and preserved.
Without the land, we are nothing. The land, the very soil, is the heart of any farming operation and it is to be respected. While we are blessed with the privilege to grow cannabis under the full sun, it is our responsibility to do that in a way that complements that which has been here forever. We are just the current residents.
Our ranch, located in the heart of the Emerald Triangle in northern Mendocino County, probably first saw white men in 1875 when it was homesteaded by a young man who had survived the Civil War and been granted a piece of land “Out West.” It fascinates me to imagine him riding the hills and following the streams in this area until he found the perfect spot, not too far from a water source, with enough flat land to grow crops and trees to cut and build a home.
Of course I have no idea of what happened to the native members of the Wailaki Tribe who lived here before, but I assume they had already been rounded up in the late 1850s and walked over to the appropriately called Round Valley — a reservation populated by several tribes from this area. President Ulysses S. Grant formally established the Round Valley Indian Reservation in March of 1870. As one can imagine, the various tribes did not necessarily get along as they all had very different traditions, languages and beliefs. Despite this time has begun to melt them all together into one tribe, the Covelo Indian Community, and on some levels they are still sorting out differences to this day.
The purpose of the reservation was supposedly to protect the natives from the thousands of approaching settlers anxious to grab land, but realistically we all know it was to vacate the precious land so it could be occupied by white men. By the…