Of Goldilocks and Growers
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.
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.
Photos from Six Rivers Press Release