40 year Smith River report

Forty Years of State Complicity in the Pesticide Poisoning of California’s Wildest River

It’s a toxic soup in there. —NMFS fisheries biologist

In April 2024, Siskiyou Land Conservancy released a comprehensive report that documents forty years of complicity by the state of California in the pesticide contamination of the Smith River estuary, in the far northwestern corner of California. Pesticide use now threatens the ongoing survival of at least two federally protected Endangered Species, coho salmon and tidewater goby.

Farmer applies the fungicides chlorothalonil, a carcinogen, and copper hydroxide on Easter lily fields in 2001. A 30-mph wind pumps the chemicals directly into Smith River Elementary School.