los padres national forest

Authorities Remove 3,000 Pounds of Trash From Los Padres National Forest

State wildlife officers removed 3,000 lbs. of trash, hundreds of feet of plastic irrigation piping, discarded camping equipment and other debris at an illegal marijuana operation in the Los Padres National Forest.

The grow complex was located one mile north of Ragged Point in the Big Sur region of Monterey County.

Officers also removed numerous bottles of rodenticides, insecticides and high concentrate fertilizers, which likely killed deer and a skunk found dead at the site. 

Officials with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said much of the trash was located in a seasonal stream channel, which led to the Pacific Ocean.

If left in place, the garbage could have been carried to the coastline by high stream flows from winter rains.

"This site was overrun with trash and dangerous pesticides at every corner of the grow complex," said CDFW Deputy Director David Bess, who is also chief of the Law Enforcement Division. "I'm proud of the work that was completed on this mission by our wildlife officers and support team."

CDFW is currently developing a grant program to support restoration efforts on land impacted by cannabis grows near sensitive watersheds. A portion of that funding will be focused on the impacts from illegal grows such as this one.

In removing the trash, wildlife officers were assisted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture on the ground and the National Guard's 129th Rescue Wing Counterdrug Task Force, which provided air support for removing trash.

To report environmental crimes, call the CalTIP hotline at (888) 334-2258 or by texting "CALTIP," followed by a space and the message, to 847411 (tip411).

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