Condor spotted near proposed Templeton cannabis grow

March 8, 2019


Open letter to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors:

I have contacted the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)to see if anyone has inquired about the possible effects this proposed cannabis farm could have on the release of the condors at San Simeon. CDFW states, Cannabis cultivators, like other project proponents, must comply with Fish and Game Code.

I also have a call and an email in to the U.S. (Federal) Fish and Wildlife Service, who is the organization that chooses when and where to release these magnificent birds. Since 2015, 18 juvenile California condors have been released from San Simeon. One more was scheduled to be released sometime around Christmas 2018. This would bring the total of 19 condors soaring the Central Coast.

In addition, I have spoken to three representatives at The Peregrine Fund (including one rep who does the condor releases at The Grand Canyon) who all were concerned and, frankly, appalled, that a project such as this would even be considered in such close proximity to where condors are being released and tracked.

Many Central Coast raptors, such as falcons, hawks, eagles and owls, hunt and eat live prey. Condors are unique in that they only eat large and small carcasses (dead animals) including rabbits and rodents, which will be prevalent visitors to the marijuana farm. As these rabbits, rodents, etc. die due to pesticides, they are just the meal ticket a condor would love.

In addition, the electric power poles and razor wire this farm would require could be a major source of injury and death to these amazing birds.

Are you willing to be the ones to go permanently on record as those who approved this project in such close proximity to the release and recovery of this endangered species?

An article posted on Dec. 9, 2018, in The Tribune, quotes Joe Burnett, a senior wildlife biologist with the Ventana Wildlife Society.

“San Simeon is going to be a stop for all the condors,” Burnett said in an email interview. “This is one of the big goals, to basically have an area that is adopted by all the birds. Condors are very social… so just by habit, the San Simeon birds will lead them here (in the next few years).”

These condors have been released in our area for one reason…. It is pristine and safe. It is a wonderful micro climate that is conducive to the health and recovery of the condor population.

There is a reason why they didn’t release the condors in Mendicino County. I have several other objections to why this proposed “farm” is a bad fit for our community, but you’ve basically heard, and side-stepped them all.

In conclusion, I am thrilled to be one of the lucky ones who have seen once this majestic creature in our very own Shadow Canyon (minutes away from this proposed project). It was forced to fly in front of me as it was trapped by the canopy of tree branches. It looked prehistoric and I was mesmerized. They are beginning to thrive in our environment.

Ms. Gardener and Mr. McAllister can easily relocate their project to another part of the mid-state. Our condors do not have a choice and it is our responsibility to see that they are protected.

Please do the right thing. Approve the appeal put forward by Ian McPhee, and deny the project.


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So I learned that this particular Condor got wind of the proposed cannabis grow and was surveying the property as a future fast food outlet, either a “Condies” or a “road-kill tacqueria” None of the neighbors have ever used rat poison or squirrel bait, so up until now, condors have enjoyed “organic” dead flesh, non-GMO, Gluten-free, pesticide-free scavenging. They wouldn’t be there otherwise.

The family of condors who frequent this neighborhood currently are concerned about cannabis grows too….but not in the same way politicians and busy-bodies are concerned! it turns out that condors don’t prefer that out-of-town, politically connected felons get all the grow licenses in SLO County. Weird, I know, but they make a lot of sense if you listen.

Just like the Justin Winery parent corporation cut down thousands of Oak Trees without permission and uses pesticides of all kinds and paid a smaller penalty than the EIR would have cost to get legal permission to chop down the trees, well heeled, out-of-town, politically connected felons are prone to the same behavior.

Local folks are NOT! Those who have lived on the Central Coast for decades cherish our local flora and fauna. Long-time local residents didn’t breeze into town bribing everyone and going to the front of the line for cultivation permits so they can use all sorts of pesticides, etc.

Local folks want to do things the right way.

Condors know this, which is why they are watching this site in order to get another fast-food place in the Templeton area.


I am more than well acquainted with local folks and life on the Central Coast (for many decades) and anyone who truly “cherishes the flora and fauna” would not put a project like this at this location as it is a neighborhood. The safety of the condors is a real and valid concern. In addition, I have read there are MANY more concerns including air quality for the neighbors, etc. But you go ahead and enjoy your fantasy’s. Better yet, talk to someone who lives in Nipomo.


So greenhouses that grow any other crop except cannabis are good…..but that particular crop is bad. Is that what you’re saying ThinkAwhile?

What is it about a “project” like this… that involves greenhouses, irrigation, setbacks and fencing….that makes it different than other projects that require the exact same thing?

Why do condors feel threatened by a cannabis farm and not a lavender farm?

While all of us want to see the condors safe and sound, it appears only “some” of us care about private property rights.

I have two questions for you, thinkAwhile:

1. Do you oppose any other type of agriculture in this area, or just cannabis?

2. Do condors suffer less from wine grapes than cannabis?

The Daily

I would say “Doc” T you yourself have been out in the fields and recently too!


Condors are wise, far-seeing, elegant and kind scavengers.

As a nature-lover who is connected to the deep vibrations of the earth, air, water and sky, along with sensing the light of every living thing, I can say without a doubt that the Condor’s (may he/she/it live forever) presence is a sign that nature is blessing the future cannabis grow. This is a green light folks. The condor proves it.

Think of all the stoned rabbits and squirrels who OD and die on the cannabis growing property…..the condors will be there to clean up the mess!

This is a good sign. Not an evil omen. Continue with the cannabis grow or the condors will be angry.


OH dear, someone needs to connect the dots for you. I have personally been researching this topic and there are many, many articles on the internet that tell all about the horrors of cannabis farms when it comes to killing owls, etc. The problem is, rodents that prey on these grows die due to pesticides. The bigger problem is that the rodent’s dead carcass attracts animals that will eat them. So, the pesticides in the dead carcass kill the bird or animal that eats it. The pesticide stays active in the dead animal and can keep on killing. I have read and learned that many birds are being killed due to eating rodents who have been poisoned by pesticides. I absolutely agree that this could put the condors at risk!


I literally checked my watch on this… I was thinking it was April 1 already.


You’ve got to be kidding!


KATHRYN, contact the Center for Biological Diversity.

These are amazing creatures. The first time you see and hear one flying low overhead, it’s like your first earthquake, nobody needs to explain what’s happening. We are privileged to be able to see these birds in the wild again instead of having them extinct. What a shame some of commenters see only $ and cents instead of wonder.


It’s not dollars and cents it’s about people and their rights. No one wants to see any of these, I want to see any of these birds go extinct or any other creatures. We applaud those who are watching over them. But lets be reasonable and use any valid information that is available. Just don’t pick up a handful of you know what and throw it up on the wall and see what sticks.

George Garrigues

Condors getting high? Makes sense.


Here is a perfect example of the abuses put on development projects. First I’m not an advocate for the legalization of marijuana but it was made legal by the voters. Everything mentioned by this person would completely shut down all agriculture activities in most of the Salinas Valley. Everything that was mentioned has been observed there. If someone wants to appeal a project they should use known facts and not maybe’s. I too would probably be against it too but mostly for the odor that it generated and the associated crime, tresspassing and theft, that goes along with it.


Funny that you say to use ‘known facts and not maybe’s’ then go on to make up ‘maybe’s’ like odor and crime, both of which are controllable and non issues for a vast majority of legally permitted farms.


Odor and crimes were not referred to as maybe’s but most everything else mentioned in the article. If marijuana is considered an agriculture product that is going to open up a whole new can of worms. There is a disclosure for real estate transactions within the unincorporated part of the county that warns buyer of potential agriculture activities near their properties. There are still restrictions for many things though. I think the odor asssociated with marijuana is going to be a big issue that will have to be dealt with. The old saying was that marijuana smelled like alfafa when smoked but now when grown it smells like skunks,


When was the last time you have been to a grow? 1979? Cannabis has virtually unlimited variety of terpene profiles. It can smell like so many pleasant things, blueberries, grapes, lemons, oranges, pine, etc .. and can also smell unpleasant, like vomit, rotten fruit, skunk, diesel fuel, etc. Thing is, now that consumers know that there are so many good smells and flavors available that is what the consumer will buy, and growers will grow what sells. Skunk is by far the least likely to sell, hardly anyone thinks that is a pleasant smell, so growers are not likely to grow it.

Ben Daho

If ALL of the hazards listed that would increase the food supply for said Condors.