The discovery of several Marijuana farms in the foothills of the Sierra in southern Inyo this summer surprised local residents and contributed to a Forest Service plan to end pot cultivation on forest lands.
In a press release, Forest officials revealed a ten-step plan that they say is “designed to eliminate the illegal occupancy of California’s national forests by drug trafficking organizations. ” Forest officials named “eradication and investigation efforts” set to “dismantle the leadership and financial infrastructure” of the drug cultivation activities.
Officials admit that the situation did not develop overnight and will not instantly go away. Mark Rey, US Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment said that as marijuana cultivation on public land grew out of control, Forest Service law enforcement resources were stretched to the limit. Rey also said that the cultivation has damaged resources requiring extensive reclamation efforts.
Officials said that concer4ns of cultivation have resulted in “substantial funding support.” Money to hire more than 80 law enforcement personnel in California. The Forest Service will also work with other law enforcement agencies on a strategic plan.