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Marijuana Garden Found And Eradicated

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

National Park News

On Thursday, August 16th, a marijuana garden was spotted from a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office helicopter in the upper Trancas Canyon watershed. The Zuma-Trancas Canyons section is north of the city of Malibu and is managed by the National Park Service. After several weeks of surveillance, a tactical team comprised of protection rangers from both the National Park Service and from the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA, a state partner) entered the location as planned on September 19th. Over 3,900 marijuana plants with a street value in excess of $10 million were found at the site along with large amounts of plastic PVC irrigation hose and empty pesticide and insecticide containers. Staff from the park and MRCA, supported by additional staff from Channel Islands and Sequoia/Kings Canyon, cut and piled the plants and loaded both plants and garbage into large sling bags for removal by air. The plants were then taken to the county landfill – under armed escort – for destruction. Safety concerns in this remote area were numerous, including the possibility of armed growers still in the vicinity and/or their booby traps. Resource impacts are significant, including the destruction of native vegetation in this rather pristine area, soil disturbance that promotes invasive weeds, residual effects from the chemicals and fertilizers used, and the establishment of pits for trash and human waste. Funding came from both ONPS and PWR regional drug eradication accounts.



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