Of Goldilocks and Growers

Helicopter transports waste from marijuana grow site

The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears left me befuddled as a child.  I was supposed to sympathize with this little girl but really, I worried  about the poor bears whose home was trashed by an insensitive twit.  Tonight, when Kevin Hoover from the Arcata Eye sent me this Press Release From Six Rivers National Forest, I remembered my dismay with Goldilocks.  Mostly, my sympathy is with growers but growing on land that isn’t your own, trashing it, and scaring off otherwise welcome guests tramples on morality. The environmental damage from the “gardens” especially concerns me.

These photos show crews having to clean up ugly messes on land that belongs to all of us.

Crew bundles waste for helicopter transport.

Crew cleans up marijuana grow site.

Crews Clean Up Abandoned Marijuana Grow Sites

Eureka, CA, September 17, 2010 – After law enforcement officers have discovered, investigated, and collected evidence from illegal marijuana operations on the Forest, the task of cleaning up and removing significant amounts of garbage and waste falls to the local unit on the Forest.  Once the sites are declared secure, crews hike into these remote areas to prepare the trash for removal and begin rehabilitation.

Wednesday, crews from Lower Trinity Ranger District removed over 10 cubic yards of trash from six remote abandon marijuana grow sites on the Six Rivers National Forest near Willow Creek.   A helicopter was used to transport large amounts of trash, hose, propane tanks, insecticides and other waste from these old grow sites to then be properly disposed of properly.

Illegal marijuana cultivation poses a public safety risk and directly harms the environment.   The use of herbicides, pesticides and rodenticides can cause extensive and long-term damage to natural resources and impact public drinking water for hundreds of miles.  Additionally, timber and vegetation are destroyed, much needed water is diverted from watersheds, streams, and public drinking water supplies, and fish and wildlife habitat are destroyed

Hunting season is quickly approaching and many more members of the public may be stumbling upon remote active or inactive marijuana growing operations in the forest.  If you do find any suspicious campsite or garden area, do not take any chances.  Immediately leave the area and report your findings to the local law enforcement authorities.  Try and describe what you observed and the exact location (to the best of your abilities) of the site.  Also, record and report any vehicle license plate(s) or descriptions of people and vehicles in that vicinity.  Above all, consider your safety first and do not take any independent action.

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Photos from Six Rivers Press Release

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19 comments

  • The middle photo looks like the bundles are ready to be unbundled and tossed.

    Is any of this recycled or reused? Looks to be mainly tubing for drip irrigation.
    it would be nice to see this reused for community gardens, or low income gardens. That stuff is expensive.

  • So about a large refridgerator’s volume of garbage per individual growsite. I’m curious to know the average size of each site. If I were a patrolman out there and I came across their plants close to harvest, I’d watch em take it all down, where they take it, get all their info etc….but only bust em if they didn’t clean up their garbage. I’d love to do it, too. I’d let them know proud and loud that they could have got away with it all scott free if they’d have only cleaned up their mess. And I’d prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law with no mercy, maybe smoke a joint of theirs after the first raid. I hate people who leave their garbage in the woods.

  • So about a large refridgerator’s volume of garbage per individual growsite. I’m curious to know the average size of each site. If I were a patrolman out there and I came across their plants close to harvest, I’d watch em take it all down, where they take it, get all their info etc….but only bust em if they didn’t clean up their garbage. I’d love to do it, too. I’d let them know proud and loud that they could have got away with it all scott free if they’d have only cleaned up their mess. And I’d prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law with no mercy, maybe smoke a joint of theirs after the first raid. I hate people who leave their garbage in the woods.

  • There’s more to it than this debris. There’s the fertilizers and pesticides introduced into the forest, as well as the sewage and erosion caused by the people who tend the crops.

    • of course, kevin…but if I imagine they have chems then my fantasy of ironic torment is ruined. Seriously though, roadside dumpers and these idiots are among the scurge of the area. No mercy.

  • There’s more to it than this debris. There’s the fertilizers and pesticides introduced into the forest, as well as the sewage and erosion caused by the people who tend the crops.

    • of course, kevin…but if I imagine they have chems then my fantasy of ironic torment is ruined. Seriously though, roadside dumpers and these idiots are among the scurge of the area. No mercy.

  • I get it. The growers represent Goldilocks and the Rangers are the bears. Perfect. And clever.

  • I get it. The growers represent Goldilocks and the Rangers are the bears. Perfect. And clever.

  • Litterbugs have always really ticked me off! That sure is a lot of crap to carry in to a remote site.

  • Litterbugs have always really ticked me off! That sure is a lot of crap to carry in to a remote site.

  • I know that often these growers are not big cartels but instead poor folk who want to get money fast. Part of me sympathizes. But, if you are willing to work hard around here, in less than 10 years you can have a down payment without hurting others and the environment.

  • I know that often these growers are not big cartels but instead poor folk who want to get money fast. Part of me sympathizes. But, if you are willing to work hard around here, in less than 10 years you can have a down payment without hurting others and the environment.

  • re:….Illegal marijuana cultivation poses a public safety risk and directly harms the environment. The use of herbicides, pesticides and rodenticides can cause extensive and long-term damage to natural resources and impact public drinking water for hundreds of miles.

    I find this statement repeated 100’s of times by L.E.O.s in the News across the nation but oddly the ‘Dangerous Pesticides’ are NEVER identified and the use of HERBICIDE on Cannabis is laughable at best if not just another BIG LIE. The best is when they refer to: “illegal FERTILIZERS” always unnamed while American farmers pour MILLIONS of TONS of fertilizer onto the land all across this country with abandonment.

    The Reality of California Pesticide Use Is:

    California leads the U.S. in pesticide use, with more than 315 million pounds of pesticide active ingredients sold in 2000. Between 1991 and 2000 almost 2 billion pounds of active ingredients were applied in California alone.

    These pesticides are applied in schools, in and around homes, on roadsides and on farmland. Picked up by winds and water, these chemicals are distributed to nearly every corner of the state and are commonly found on food, in surface water and groundwater, and in the air. Nearly 20% of the total pesticides used in the U.S. are used in California, a startling statistic considering that California cropland represents only 2-3% of the total planted acreage in the U.S.. This high use of pesticides is clearly related to California’s production of many high-value fruit, nut and vegetable crops, as well as its large urban populations.

    • Ivan,

      I agree that the implication that somehow marijuana growers are worse than other farmers dismays me. But there are nasty pesticides being used. And way too much fertilizer being pumped onto plants (pot and otherwise.)

      Writing about marijuana, I’m constantly struggling to talk about the issues and still put it into context ie there are environmental problems with marijuana growing but a large percentage of growers are extremely conscientious—in fact, many here in Humboldt are way more conscious of protecting the environment than farmers as a whole.

  • re:….Illegal marijuana cultivation poses a public safety risk and directly harms the environment. The use of herbicides, pesticides and rodenticides can cause extensive and long-term damage to natural resources and impact public drinking water for hundreds of miles.

    I find this statement repeated 100’s of times by L.E.O.s in the News across the nation but oddly the ‘Dangerous Pesticides’ are NEVER identified and the use of HERBICIDE on Cannabis is laughable at best if not just another BIG LIE. The best is when they refer to: “illegal FERTILIZERS” always unnamed while American farmers pour MILLIONS of TONS of fertilizer onto the land all across this country with abandonment.

    The Reality of California Pesticide Use Is:

    California leads the U.S. in pesticide use, with more than 315 million pounds of pesticide active ingredients sold in 2000. Between 1991 and 2000 almost 2 billion pounds of active ingredients were applied in California alone.

    These pesticides are applied in schools, in and around homes, on roadsides and on farmland. Picked up by winds and water, these chemicals are distributed to nearly every corner of the state and are commonly found on food, in surface water and groundwater, and in the air. Nearly 20% of the total pesticides used in the U.S. are used in California, a startling statistic considering that California cropland represents only 2-3% of the total planted acreage in the U.S.. This high use of pesticides is clearly related to California’s production of many high-value fruit, nut and vegetable crops, as well as its large urban populations.

    • Ivan,

      I agree that the implication that somehow marijuana growers are worse than other farmers dismays me. But there are nasty pesticides being used. And way too much fertilizer being pumped onto plants (pot and otherwise.)

      Writing about marijuana, I’m constantly struggling to talk about the issues and still put it into context ie there are environmental problems with marijuana growing but a large percentage of growers are extremely conscientious—in fact, many here in Humboldt are way more conscious of protecting the environment than farmers as a whole.

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