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Major Arrests in Marijiana Operation SEKI 5/17

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Major Arrests in Marijiana Operation SEKI 5/17

Postby maverick » Wed May 17, 2017 1:26 pm

SEKI NP:

This spring there was a joint operation between Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and eight other law enforcement agencies to disrupt the cultivation of marijuana in Sequoia National Park and adjacent public lands. This effort lasted approximately ten days and involved up to 30 officers who dedicated nearly 1,000 hours. The operation focused on foothill canyon roads that have a history of marijuana cultivation. Officers conducted over 100 motor vehicle stops resulting in dozens of cultivation leads and six arrests.

“Marijuana cultivation is one of the greatest human-caused threats to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks at this time,” said Chief Ranger Ned Kelleher of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. He added, “Through the concerted efforts of our law enforcement rangers and our partners, we have prevented further damage to the parks and have reduced potential threats to people in our gateway communities.”

Large marijuana cultivation sites can have major impacts on the agriculture industry and surrounding communities.

A single marijuana plant uses 6-8 gallons of water a day.
Diverting water for this purpose takes away a source that would otherwise nurture wildlife and vegetation.
Water originating from mountains in the parks serves several communities in the Central Valley with drinking water and provides for irrigation of crops.
Since a large number of pesticides are used in growing marijuana, water that runs off from large cultivation sites can be tainted.

(Statistics from the National Park Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife)

For over a decade, well-organized drug-trafficking organizations have been operating large-scale cultivation operations in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. These cultivation sites cause major damage to the parks’ natural resources and are a serious threat to public and staff safety. In the last 14 years, almost 300,000 plants with a value of almost $850 million have been eradicated in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Marijuana has become a growing problem for many National Parks and Public Land agencies.

THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNER AGENCIES
Bureau of Public Lands
California Fish and Wildlife
California National Guard Narcotic Task Force
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Point Reyes National Seashore
Tulare County Sheriff’s Office
Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
Yosemite National Park
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Re: Major Arrests in Marijiana Operation SEKI 5/17

Postby zacjust32 » Wed May 17, 2017 9:36 pm

I worked at SEKI last summer and got to see the narcotics officers stake out the growers. Beyond impressed with their tactics and discipline. South Fork campground and the foothills on the way to Mineral King are the hottest areas. All employees are now required to check in hourly when driving to South Fork after a cartel member took a shot at a government rig a couple years ago.
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Re: Major Arrests in Marijiana Operation SEKI 5/17

Postby limpingcrab » Thu May 18, 2017 2:14 pm

Cool, glad to hear when they have busts since the dumb growers seem to like planting their crops in places that are perfect for caving. I actually got stopped by a ranger who staked out my car when we were caving. I guess having an old beater with expired tags parked in a random turnout is a good way to get their attention.

I actually wrote the ecological risk assessment for marijuana grows in SEKI and was amazed at how often growers use the same locations after they've already been busted. Basically, if you've come a cross an old grow site its a good idea to stay away from that spot in the future.
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Re: Major Arrests in Marijiana Operation SEKI 5/17

Postby maverick » Fri May 19, 2017 9:53 am

SEKI NP:

Illegal marijuana cultivation sites contribute to the destruction of our public lands.These cultivation sites cause major damage to the parks’ natural resources and are a serious threat to public and staff safety.

These photos demonstrate the large amounts of trash and chemicals left behind in these highly illegal sites.

Through the concerted efforts of our law enforcement rangers and partners, and by working together, we can prevent further damage to the parks and reduce potential threats to people in our gateway communities.
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Major Arrests in Marijiana Operation SEKI 5/17

Postby hikerduane » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:42 pm

That burns me, thinking about all the damage and garbage. We get it on the Plumas NF too up north.
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