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Rangers Eradicate Nine Marijuana Grow Sites

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

National Park News

In late June, park rangers discovered a marijuana grow site located quite close to a popular hiking trail. The initial discovery was made by a ranger who stopped to investigate a suspicious social trail and discovered a plastic water hose in a nearby stream. As he was assessing the location, he encountered a man wearing camouflage clothing who turned and fled into the bushes. Rangers from both the NPS and California State Parks launched a thorough investigation of the area. They located nine different marijuana grow sites across a 9.6-acre area that together contained 3,517 plants. Over the past two weeks, rangers and firefighting crews have hauled out nearly a ton of trash and plants from the site and have begun restoration work. Herbicides, pesticides, rodent fencing, approximately two miles of plastic water hose and fertilizer were found at the site. Water was being diverted from a nearby creek to irrigate the plants, and native vegetation had been cut down to make room for the grow site. The park, along with others in Pacific West Region, received additional funding in 2009 for marijuana interdiction and eradication operations. These funds, combined with strong partnerships with California State Parks, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, other local land management agencies, and the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department have contributed significantly to the park’s capacity to find and clean up grow sites in the mountains.


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