People are growing marijuana illegally in national forests – and it’s ravaging them

CBS News 24 August 2018
Family First Comment: The pot industry is anything but environmentally-friendly, and here’s another example. It seems very ironic that the Greens are pushing the legalisation of the marijuana industry!

Some of America’s most pristine forests are under assault by illegal marijuana cultivation that is ravaging the environment. Federal narcotics agents destroyed more than 1.4 million marijuana plants last year, according to the U.S. Forestry Service, and thousands of pounds of trash and numerous toxic chemicals were also removed.

It’s so rugged in the San Bernardino National Forest that federal agents searching for marijuana are sometimes lifted from place to place by helicopter, reports CBS News’ John Blackstone, who joined agents in Southern California as they confronted the illegal and dangerous growing operation.

“We have a marijuana garden down here with unknown number of plants and as of right now an unknown number of suspects,” said Dan Briot of the U.S. Forest Service. He is overseeing the undercover operation.

Armed officers from the Forest Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife go in first. When they determined the area is safe, at least relatively safe, they let us follow.

What they found there was about 50 pounds of marijuana cut and ready to be taken out of the forest. They didn’t catch the cultivators but they did catch their crop, a big one, of at least 5,000 plants. All the plants left behind are difficult to eradicate because the marijuana plants are growing beneath the trees there, all of it fed by a somewhat sophisticated irrigation system.

The people growing the marijuana created a makeshift reservoir in the national forest by diverting water from a nearby natural stream. The problem almost isn’t so much the marijuana, it’s the damage that they’re doing to the forest.

“The environmental damage is huge,” Briot said.

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