UFWDA Community Forum
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 24, 2014, 09:36:30 am

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Due to spammers, registration via this forum is on hold. Sorry for the inconvenience. 
We are however happy to manually add you, so please email us at forums@ufwda.org
Admin Team
14,012 Posts in 3,223 Topics by 971 Members
Latest Member: onejsmith
* Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
UFWDA Community Forum  |  Access (Land Use, RTF, Advocacy, etc)  |  General Land Advocacy  |  Topic: Illegal marijuana gardens present safety hazard to forest visitors « previous next »
Pages: [1] Go Down Print
Author Topic: Illegal marijuana gardens present safety hazard to forest visitors  (Read 881 times)
Todd Ockert
ghost

Offline Offline

Posts: 1,793



WWW
« on: July 16, 2007, 09:25:53 am »

REDDING, Calif. – (July 1, 2007) - An increasing number of marijuana operations on National Forests in Calif. has prompted Forest Service officials to inform visitors on how to recognize signs of illegal cultivation and to take the necessary safety precautions to avoid and report these sites.

“We want the public to be aware this is going on and know what to do if they encounter marijuana gardens on the forest,” said Shasta-Trinity National Forest Safety Officer Michael Cobbold.

Most of the illegal marijuana gardens are in very remote locations. The Shasta-Trinity National Forest (NF) has vast and mostly uninhabited lands with many areas of rich, fertile soil and a climate that provides the necessary conditions for growing marijuana. Plants are put into the ground between May and June and harvested in late September through October.

“The isolation and limited public access to parts of the Shasta-Trinity NF lessen the likelihood of detection,” said Cobbold. “However, there is potential for forest visitors to accidentally stumble upon an active marijuana garden.”

“If the public should come upon something suspicious, don’t enter the area, leave and notify local law enforcement authorities immediately. For you own safety, do not enter any garden area,” said Cobbold.

Cobbold asks the public to watch for clues of illegal operations while in the woods. They can include:

Isolated tents and/or camping trailers in the forest where no recreational activity is present.
A pattern of vehicular traffic or a particular vehicle seen in the same isolated area on a regular basis.
Unusual structures located in a remote forested area with buckets, garden tools, hoses and fertilization bags.
Signs of cultivation or soil disturbance in unlikely areas.
Irrigation piping and trash scatters in forested areas.
The typical marijuana garden has changed from the late 1980s and early 90s. During that time the typical garden operation had 100 to 1,000 plants. Today, operations are far larger and range in size from 500 to more than 10,000 plants. These commercial gardens have been linked to Mexican drug trafficking organizations and armed Mexican nationals.

“Most of the increase can be attributed to the proliferation of foreign Drug Trafficking Organizations,” said Shasta-Trinity NF Spokesperson Mike Odle.

“The larger growing operations often have armed individuals tending gardens,” said Odle “There’s a large amount of money at stake and people guarding the plants tend to get very protective.”

According to Forest Service officials, officers in the past have come across camps with temporary living quarters, tree houses, barbed wire, fences and numerous fire arms.

“Growers may live in the forest near sites for months at a time,” said Odle. “Camps often contain cooking equipment and sleeping areas which are within view of the cultivation site.”

Growers that occupy National Forest System lands cause fires, cut trees, build illegal structures, create massive trash problems, illegally smoke in the area, illegally kill game (bears, deer) and illegally use herbicides and pesticides.

“In addition to the potential threat to the safety of the recreating public and Forest Service employees working in the woods, this is creating a major resource problem for the health of the forest,” said Cobbold.

Forest Service law enforcement will continue to work with the local authorities and other cooperating agencies to identify and eradicate illegal cultivation activity on National Forest System lands. They are also working with other law enforcement agencies to identify and apprehend the leaders of these drug trafficking operations.

For additional information or to notify law enforcement authorities of suspected garden areas in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, contact Shasta-Trinity National Forest Law Enforcement and Investigations at (530) 226-2592.
Logged

UFWDA Member #14102
Member of Cal4Wheel, Hanford Trail Busters, Rubicon 4WDA
www.accessarmy.com
Todd Ockert
ghost

Offline Offline

Posts: 1,793



WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2007, 12:45:17 pm »

These articles out of the latest BLM newsletter.

MARIJUANA BATTLE

"Burned bodies found near site of Inyo pot plantation raid" (Sacramento Bee, 7/24/07)
"The burned bodies of two people were found Tuesday near an illicit plantation along the Eastern Sierra where 50,000 marijuana plants were found and five people were arrested. The bodies appeared to have been burned in a wildfire that consumed some 35,000 acres of vegetation in the Inyo National Forest this month. The growing sites were in the Inyo National Forest and on Bureau of Land Management lands."
(May require free registration.)
http://www.sacbee.com/114/story/289869.html

RELATED: "Marijuana farms hidden in Sierra" (Sierra Wave - KSRW TV/radio, 7/30/07)
"In the last 3 months, the Inyo Sheriff's Office has conducted a series of raids in the foothills of the Sierra on what may be one of the biggest marijuana cultivation operations in the Western United States....This week, some 65 members of all local law enforcement agencies plus federal and state drug agents organized a sharply choreographed raid on a cultivation area west of Independence in the Shepherd's Creek Canyon. Officers from Mammoth and Bishop Police, Inyo and Mono Sheriff's, CHP, USFS, BLM...."
http://www.ksrw.sierrawave.net/site/content/view/88/48/

RELATED:"Massive pot farm raids near Indy" (Inyo Register, 7/31/07)
"Before dawn on Monday law enforcement officials from 12 different agencies gathered outside Independence for their briefing on what would turn out to be one of the largest drug busts in California history, uncovering more than 150,000 marijuana plants, two suspected cultivators and two dead bodies."
http://www.inyoregister.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1326&Itemid=27

"Seized pot in 2007 surpasses '06 total" (Fresno Bee, 8/1/07)
"More marijuana plants have been eradicated so far this year in Fresno County than in all of 2006 after a string of recent raids, a Sheriff's Department spokesman said Tuesday. As of this week, 136,892 plants with a street value of about $548 million have been destroyed this year....Last week in Tulare County, Tulare County sheriff's investigators and CAMP agents tore out more than 1,600 plants found growing in two gardens east of Three Rivers on federal Bureau of Land Management property...."
(May require free registration.)
http://www.fresnobee.com/263/story/100836.html

"Cops collect 3,000 plants in Mokelumne Hill raid" (Tuolumne County Union Democrat, 8/1/07)
"Five thousand marijuana plants spotted from the air last week on public land near Mokelumne Hill had disappeared by the time Calaveras County and state drug agents raided....But officers were luckier when they converged on a Ponderosa Road plantation at 5:30 a.m. There, 3,000 young plants were uprooted and seized." Both raids took place on public land managed by the BLM. "It's a constant battle that we are going to deal with every year," said an officer.
http://www.uniondemocrat.com/news/story.cfm?story_no=24043

"Marijuana farm busted in South Yuba River park" (Sacramento Bee, 7/25/07)
"The South Yuba River State Park, bordering Bureau of Land Management property, is known for its idyllic covered bridge, hiking trails, rugged canyons and as a great place for swimming. Apparently, a Mexican cartel armed with semi-automatic weapons thought it also was a great place to grow marijuana."
(May require free registration.)
http://www.sacbee.com/crime/story/290643.html

"Calaveras deputies seize more marijuana plants" (Stockton Record, 7/31/07)
"Calaveras County sheriff’s deputies today raided two marijuana gardens on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land and seized 3,000 plants."
(May require free registration.)
http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070731/A_NEWS/70731003

"Two marijuana gardens destroyed" (Visalia Times-Delta, 7/25/07)
The gardens were found on Bureau of Land Management property near Three Rivers.
http://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007707250340

Be extremely careful in National Forest of those that produce drugs.
A couple of these articles talk about two hikers that stumbled across a pot growing operation, and were killed.

Todd
Logged

UFWDA Member #14102
Member of Cal4Wheel, Hanford Trail Busters, Rubicon 4WDA
www.accessarmy.com
Keith Holman
Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Drive Association
ghost

Offline Offline

Posts: 168


WWW
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2007, 02:25:53 pm »

Quote
“The isolation and limited public access to parts of the Shasta-Trinity NF lessen the likelihood of detection,” said Cobbold. “However, there is potential for forest visitors to accidentally stumble upon an active marijuana garden.”
Am I understanding Shasta-Trinity National Forest Safety Officer Michael Cobbold to be saying that limiting access is contributing to the problem? Maybe he was misquoted? If the problem is compounded by limited access, it wouldn't seem to take a genius to figure out part of the solution.
Logged

What are you supposed to do when you see an "endangered" animal eating an "endangered" plant?
--------
Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Drive Association
Todd Ockert
ghost

Offline Offline

Posts: 1,793



WWW
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2007, 02:57:20 pm »

Keith

I think we need to use that statement to catch them in a catch-22!
They want to limit access to recreation, but now other groups are using the forest for drug business operations.

Todd
Logged

UFWDA Member #14102
Member of Cal4Wheel, Hanford Trail Busters, Rubicon 4WDA
www.accessarmy.com
Melissa Simmons
ghost

Offline Offline

Posts: 447


« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2007, 03:21:44 pm »

OH YEA!  Yet another wonderful PURPOSEFUL and very important "benefit" for the Volunteer Trail Patrols as well.  But most definitely invaluable as a catch-22  Grin.

WHERE IS OUR PR PERSON?   Grin

~M~
Logged
Pages: [1] Go Up Print 
UFWDA Community Forum  |  Access (Land Use, RTF, Advocacy, etc)  |  General Land Advocacy  |  Topic: Illegal marijuana gardens present safety hazard to forest visitors « previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!