Large Trespass Marijuana Grow Cleaned Up

One of the 16 helicopter loads with household trash and grow site infrastructure within the Jones Ridge trespass grow complex in the Yolla Bolly – Middle Eel Wilderness on the Six Rivers National Forest.One of the 16 helicopter loads with household trash and grow site infrastructure within the Jones Ridge trespass grow complex in the Yolla Bolly – Middle Eel Wilderness on the Six Rivers National Forest.

One of the 16 helicopter loads with household trash and grow site infrastructure within the Jones Ridge trespass grow complex in the Yolla Bolly – Middle Eel Wilderness on the Six Rivers National Forest.

Press release from Integral Ecology Research Center:

In the summer of 2017, a large public land trespass marijuana cultivation complex was discovered on the Six Rivers National Forest within the Yolla Bolly – Middle Eel Wilderness managed by the United States Forest Service. The complex was named Jones Ridge and comprised seven distinct growing plots spanning over a mile in length (Figure 1), and 3 individual sites each with camps and associated growing plots and infrastructure. The complex was quickly eradicated by federal, state and local Law Enforcement in summer 2017 to disrupt the continued misuse of these public lands.

Aerial overview of the Jones Ridge Complex reclaimed on April 19 and 20, 2018 located in the Yolla Bolly – Middle Eel Wilderness of Six River National Forest.

Aerial overview of the Jones Ridge Complex reclaimed on April 19 and 20, 2018 located in the Yolla Bolly – Middle Eel Wilderness of Six River National Forest.

Research scientists from IERC visited the complex to document and ascertain the magnitude of impacts that these trespass grows caused. During initial documentation of the site, an estimated several thousand feet of irrigation line, numerous substantial water diversions, thousands of pounds of fertilizer and over 90 pounds of pesticides were recorded. The sites were placed on a high-priority list for documentation and reclamation by IERC and USFS due to these factors. Reclamation operations were conducted April 19 and 20, 2018.

Before photograph of the main camp in diverted creek bed following reclamation of the Jones Ridge trespass grow complex in the Yolla Bolly – Middle Eel Wilderness on the Six Rivers National Forest.

Before photograph of the main camp in diverted creek bed following reclamation of the Jones Ridge trespass grow complex in the Yolla Bolly – Middle Eel Wilderness on the Six Rivers National Forest.

The complex lies within tributaries of the North Fork Eel River, a Hydrological Unit with a population of the sensitive salmonid, spring-run chinook and a population of federally listed coho salmon. This complex is less than one kilometer from United States Fish and Wildlife Service delineated Critical Habitat for the northern spotted owl that is listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Finally, ongoing research conducted by Integral Ecology Research Center has documented the protected species fisher (Pekania pennanti) and ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) in the grow site complex. Cattle under a grazing allotment also heavily use this area.

Restored wilderness

After the cleanup.

Organizations Involved
Governmental: United States Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations (USFS-LEI), California Department of Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement Division (CDFW-LED), United States Forest Service Fire Staff (USFS), Trinity County Resource Conservation District (TCRCD), Trinity County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO)
Non-Governmental: Integral Ecology Research Center (IERC), The Watershed Research and Training Center (WRTC), Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF)
Reclamation Organizers: Drs. Mourad Gabriel and Greta Wengert (IERC)
Support: Logistical and financial support was contributed by the above-mentioned entities. Specific funding for the reclamation of this trespass marijuana cultivation complex was provided by CDFW Cannabis Restoration Program Grant and a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation grant to IERC.
Statistics
Trespass sites cleaned: One large complex encompassing three distinct sites
Location of sites: Six Rivers National Forest, Yolla Bolly – Middle Eel Wilderness
Watershed impacted: North Fork Eel River
Personnel: 53 Total; IERC (7), WRTC (5), TCRCD (6), CDFW (6), USFS (21), RMEF (4), TCSO (4)
Total water diversions restored to watersheds: Five reservoirs and water diversions totaling 2.9 million gallons of water annually.
Amount of soluble fertilizer used on site: 2,050 lb
Amount of pesticides used on site: 91.3 lb
Grow site trash and infrastructure removed during reclamation: ~4500 lb
Irrigation pipe removed during reclamation: ~ 1 mile (5,280 ft)
Long-line loads of trash removed: 16 loads (Total long-line flight time = 1.8 hrs)
Average net load drop time: 6.75 minutes per net load

A portion of the irrigation line and trash removed from the Jones Ridge trespass grow complex Jones Ridge trespass grow complex in the Yolla Bolly – Middle Eel Wilderness on the Six Rivers National Forest loaded for transportation to an approved dump site.

A portion of the irrigation line and trash removed from the Jones Ridge trespass grow complex Jones Ridge trespass grow complex in the Yolla Bolly – Middle Eel Wilderness on the Six Rivers National Forest loaded for transportation to an approved dump site.

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74 comments

  • Thanks for posting this article Kym! The detailed reporting serves to highlight just how insane growing pot has become! As it drives people to denigrate so readily, our beautiful area with little to no regard, the many ways illegal grows harm EVERYBODY for greed and monetary gain of a very few. Simply shameful!

  • Any hope of catching who is responsible?

  • So sad, hope there aren’t more out there like that. Now on to the property owners that have abandoned the same type of thing. Who do you contact to get those eradicated?

    • There are thousands of sites just like this and worse. No regard for rivers, wildlife, and human lives. All these illegal pesticides run into our waterways and we drink it!

  • One mile is 5280′. Just in case you slept threw high school.

  • Thank you all involved, keep up the good work!!

  • What are cattle doing in sensitive habitat? I mean besides trampling everything

  • Peaple have no right to just go in on public lands and think they own it if they want to grow pot and a lot of pot let them buy thar own land to do it on i kean that what my family had to do

  • They should take a bunch of prisoners to clean up these things. A GPS on ankle chains, bright orange jumpsuit and have a K-9 present, they would get far if they tried to run.

    • They used to just chain all the inmates together. It works quite well and people actually avoided going to prison because they didn’t like having to work for a living.

  • Covelo or busted

    Jones ridge is pretty remote… how did all this shit get delivered? wake up forest service.. could have stopped it in its tracks.

  • honestworkingman

    look Kym , farmers!

    • Ah, the sarcasm is strong in you. And rather wrongly applied. Comparing legal growers with trespass growers is roughly like looking at a liquor store owner and calling them a moonshiner.

      • Wait. It was legal in 2017?

        • Growing medical marijuana was legal in California in 2017.

          • Hmm. I guess so. Because most of the growers were just doing it to help medical patients. That seems grossly misinformed on your part. Yes, yes, I know. You’re impartial.

            • In my articles, I report impartially. But in the comment section, like you, I give my opinion.

              • Cool. Kinda like Roger Ailes?

                • Well…minus the allegations of sexual impropriety at least…

                • My jowls are almost as big as his though.

                • I hate to bust your err, jowls? But you’ve got nothing on that droopy dog! I do feel as if you are biased toward cannabis production in southern Humboldt. Whether it is legit or not. And that is not much different than fox news or arkley news or maxxam news or whatever.

                • I present a lot of stories showing the bad side of cannabis production and very few showing the small farmers quietly trying to struggle their way to a legal market. There are many bad growers and few of the many small growers are willing to come forward and talk about their lives. But, what people don’t see are the many small farmers who are producing marijuana in an environmentally sound manner. They store water. Their grows are smaller than the size of vegetable gardens. They are the firefighters, the road fixers, the volunteers at the schools–To see them blamed for the environmental crimes of the others makes me angry.

      • AND you let us comment anonymously with our own stories. If we feel a need to share or set something straight or adjust…I’ll always respect you for that, Kym! Even if we have very different perspectives on the grow situation…you allow me my rants. You have set up a great community board here and have every right to be proud of this!

  • Now if the cows could be removed, the habitat might have a chance… Not a cow hater but it’s just not sensible in certain zones.

  • Bulgarians first

    This is why we need Trumps wall! Keep out illegals who illegally grow on land that isnt theirs leaving trash and enviro damage behind making our woods look like tijuana. Pot is legal now in mexico so they should just grow their drugs at home and sray out of our county and country, illegal means laws broken which they think dont apply to them.
    Tired if the bean stew up in here.

  • Bulgarians first

    They should have flown in last year and bust these messy swine growers. Why did they wait instead of arresting these bastards?
    Why is our enforcement always behind the 8 ball?

    • Safety of the officers.
      VERY little chance of sneaking up on and arresting anyone out that far that knows well the area. Higher chance of officers being hurt or killed on unfamiliar terrain.
      Volunteers can assist cleanup in off season. Safety, expense, ease, all more favorable.

  • I’ve helped clean-up homeless camps in eureka and surrounding areas,that are this bad and more—–on private land time and time again,with no outside funds to do it,not to mention needles every where—————

  • You folks seem so silly with your outrage over pot grow messes. Maybe while you have your nose so high in the air try opening your eyes to the real pollution going on in our skies. Those jets are dumping LITERALLY hundreds of thousands tons of nano particulate aluminum oxide, strontium and barium. The water and soil has EXTREMELY HIGH LEVELS OF THESE METELS. Americans have been dumbed down enough without the neurological damage these cause. So please jump on the anti-geoengineering wagon. Don’t use the word chemtrails only idiots use that term. Stratospheric arohosol injection, solar radiation management, chemical ice nucleation are some of the terms used. The mass tree die offs are not from drought but from the PH changes in water and soil too alkaline for water nutrient uptake. Count dead or dying trees it’s staggering. But please stop bitching over the dead horse topic weed. Do something that truly matters fight geo engineering. Fuck that was a load huh?

    • Fool on the hill

      100%✓

    • Two thoughts can be kept at the same time. And that there are other types of pollution does not excuse this one.

    • Yep, or the Pacific Ocean garbage patch which is now twice the size of Texas.

    • Humboldt Hillsman

      There are no chem trails, that is a stupid conspiracy with zero evidence.

    • Alex Jones much?

    • The naysayers are without eyes and ears laura, and unfortunately its the same masses who support the Order Followers. They either wake up . . . or, they roll back over and stay asleep.

      Geo-engineered climate is my choice of describing the phantom “climate change,” and “Global warming” crap.

      Mostly, i want to know if the localites (would-be rulers), will actually stand down to the U.S. Forest Service, if and when HumCo gets ignited, and not use the Boeiing-747 Fire Tanker that holds 19,000 gals. of retardant or water. Is the airport in McKinleyville capable of refueling and re-loading?

    • I look up every day and see that shit. Clear skies for a week. Then heavy trails last wed and Thurs. Then wouldn’t ya know it, rain on Friday and Saturday. It happens like that all the time. Look at the 10 day forecast, then watch the skies for the 3 days leading up to the rain. Heavy trails for a day or two, the sky is all hazy, then the haze forms into “clouds” with cymatic waveforms. Particles in the air being manipulated with electromagnetic radiation from HAARP. Northern California is going to burn really bad this summer. Can you imagine if a fires similar to the santa Rosa fire broke out in our rural Forrests?

  • Were do we expect young growers to start out and make their money?
    They can’t buy land around here now unless they are wealthy.. The other option is working for our honerable upper class of greenhouse landowners as hill grunts.
    But seriously, the yolla bolly area is one of the largest wild areas free from most human imposition.
    hopefully legalization will stop the capitalists among us from pilfering the north coasts river valleys & these ancient mountain ranges above us.

    • Ohhhh, way to get a dig into the evil notion of capitalism…..from your very capitalistic electronic device…ironic.

      • Forgive my offense.
        By caricaturizing capitalism for its affects socially or economically, as in its opposition to nationalism in favor of global markets, I am in no way suggesting that some other economic system is our salvation.
        Every concept or philosophy needs to be scrutinized. And I’d give up computers in a heartbeat in exchange for a culture that made sense.

  • “Large Trespass Grow” ??? Can we at least call it what it is Kym? It’s another Mexican grow conducted by people from another country who are in this country illegally. You can’t fix a problem if you refuse to identify it. The irony is the same people who are dealing with a marginalized environment, flooded markets for their product, and increasing crime, will march lock-step to the polls and vote for the people who put them out of business. Bewildering

    • barefoot charley

      If they found so much as an empty taco bag they’d announce as usual it’s a Mexican cartel grow. Because they didn’t, they’re still looking for one.

      • Look at the third photo and tell me a good investigator wouldn’t know. The Mexican novellas were all present at the three I saw on F.S. land outside of Covelo. Ah yes, and the always present piles of trash which make me nostalgic for my travel days in Rural Mexico.

    • I have seen large trespass grows conducted by people who are as white as I am so unless there is proof otherwise, I’ll stick with large trespass grow.

  • And if ya gotta stay stuck on those nasty pesticides, well check this one out… Bayer/ Monsanto buyout for a mere 66 bbbbillion dollars. Don’t just stay on the surface dig just about MOBAY it’s an old merger of those two vile pesticide peddlars agent Orange was just one of their proud products. Yeah I like wasabi with my spotted owls not too sure what they use for their condiments.

  • This is exactly why there is no deer in that area anymore. Imagine the record bucks that may have been killed in there. These campers don’t go to the store.

  • Does anyone care what loggers do .i know that growing weed like that is tarible for the inviermint.but no one seems to care about the ecosestem the loggers are fucking up and destroying .have you seen the acres and acres of clear cut land out by oric or does that not matter because its legal

    • Clearcuts are old news. I’d much rather be in a clear cut checking out the mess than in any northern humboldt city, checkerboarded with asphalt, houses, and besmirched with trash, needles and dog-walk poo. Timber workers are the old whipping boys of the environmental lobby. Talk to any old logger and you will find a rural and industrial skillset unmatched in today’s ecomonies. Timber was, and is a important part of the local culture. It will be interesting to see how Reefer fares. the green rush work force will probably dissipate over the years, or be replaced by Spanish speaking vineyard workers as pay decreases..
      think of the stories of all the old hippies and the baseball hat growers.
      What a crazy era to be a part of.

      • Farming10,000 acres of HEMP will provide as much paper, building materials, and pulp as 4,100 acres of forest.

        FORGET the mythical Medical Marijuana doublespeak, . . . the 1937 ‘marijuana’ word in general.

        Work on eliminating the word “INDUSTRY” too while you’re at it. Is ‘Industry’ associated with positive or negative?

        Military Industrial Complex
        Industrial Disease
        The Industrial Revolution
        Pharmaceutical and Health Care Industries
        Compliance Ordinance Industry = a crop of tax farmers

        We have to get rid of the old, to make room for the new. . . . as a rule-of-thumb, words beginning with a vowel and two consonants do not have an agreed upon value. No value, no contract. No contract, no jurisdiction. Look up all words beginning w/a vowel followed by two consonants (means No Contract), and all synonyms for that word and you’ll find a negative condition of state.

        If we want freedom, we’re going to have to choose a language that better serves us.

    • Taylor,

      Legality is not reality.

  • Long-line loads of trash removed: 16 loads (Total long-line flight time = 1.08 hrs)
    Average net load drop time: 6.75 minutes per net load

  • Kathryn Davenport

    Great, get um the hell outta there. We’ve camped up there, and i dont want to come upon that , family out for camp trip, and end up getting confronted by growers…it happened up by Pillsbury once to hubby and friends, driving down one of national forest lands road. They came apon several hispanic gentlemen who had obviously just fell a tree across the road, were armed and told my husband and friends they “couldn’t go any further down the road, cause a tree fell” ya, our guys saw the chainsaw being loaded back into their vebicle just as they drove up! These guys were dangerous lookin an were obviously not going to let anyone through. So hubby and friends left, went and reported it, they were pissed…they couldnt use public lands they had every right to be on and pay taxes to be able to use! It’s gotten dangerous anymore, you think your safe…Im glad they are getting some of these guys outta there. But thats the thing, you get um outta one spot then either they or more of their buddies just move right back in in another spot😣😣😣

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