If there’s weed, be careful indeed

The following is a press release from the Inyo National Forest:

The Inyo National Forest and the Bishop Field Office of the BLM seek to provide a safe environment for the public, its employees, and natural resources. So while only a fraction of our public lands are affected by illegal marijuana cultivation, the agencies believe that safety risks are real and visitors and employees should be informed about them.

“The safety of public land visitors and our employees is our top priority,” said Forest Supervisor Ed Armenta. “Marijuana cultivation does occur on some public lands. It’s important for people to understand that they need to be aware of their surroundings.”

Marijuana cultivation makes many disturbance to natural resources, causes extensive and long-term damage to ecosystems, and impacts the supplies of public drinking water for hundreds of miles. Growers clear native vegetation before planting and sometimes use miles of black plastic tubing to transport large volumes of water from creeks that are often dammed for irrigation. The use of banned herbicides and pesticides by marijuana growers kill wildlife and competing vegetation. This loss of vegetation allows rain water to erode the soil and wash poisons, human waste, and trash from the grow sites into streams and rivers.

Here are some clues that you may have come across a marijuana cultivation site:

· Sometimes marijuana smells like a skunk on hot days.

· Hoses or drip lines located in unusual or unexpected places.

· A well-used trail where there shouldn’t be one.

· People standing along roads without vehicles present, or in areas where loitering appears unusual.

· Grow sites are usually found in isolated locations, in rough steep terrain.

· Camps containing cooking and sleeping areas with food, fertilizer, weapons, garbage, rat poison, and/or dead animals.

· Small propane bottles, used to avoid the detection of wood smoke.

· Individuals armed with rifles out of hunting season.

As soon as you become aware that you have come upon a cultivation site, back out immediately. Never engage the growers as these are extremely dangerous people. If you can identify a landmark or record a GPS coordinate, that’s very helpful. The growers may be present and may or may not know that you have found their grow site.

Get to a safe place and report as much detail about the location and incident as you can recall to any uniformed member of the Forest Service, BLM, or local sheriffs or police department. Leave the way you came in, and make as little noise as possible.


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39 Responses to If there’s weed, be careful indeed

  1. John Barton September 2, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Packing a pistol, Wayne, won’t do much good. These guys usually have full or semi suto weapons. Best thing is to turn right around and beat it. Not literally Wayne, just get the heck out of there.

    • Wayne Deja September 2, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

      John Barton…So true….But better off to include a Ruger.40,as well as a fishing pole and a backpack.

  2. Dave August 30, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    @ Rob… that was a preemptive remark, on my part. Albeit premature… and not directed at you.

    The Mexican cartels are getting more involved in funding large scale grows on Public Land. I have actually read/heard warnings like “If you are walking in the forest and come across Tecate cans and tortilla wrappers in a place they shouldn’t be… you might be near a marijuana grow site”

    Since often people around here are quick to blame Mexicans for a lot of things, I just wanted to point out that the subject in the murder of the Fort Bragg man was Caucasian.


  3. Rob August 30, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    Bob – private security. I guess the councilman should have called the authorities to come along. He was obviously unprepared for the circumstances he was investigating.

    Dave – racist? I don’t understand.

    • Bob Loblaw August 30, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

      Actually, the suspect in this case was tending opium poppies. Though the councilman was looking for marijuana farms (Common in that area) he stumbled into a poppy crop (Not common in that area). His friend returned fire briefly, then escaped on a passing train of all things.

  4. Dave August 29, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    Oh, and the suspect in this case is caucasian so ya’ll can save your racist Mexican comments… although the cartels are getting more involved all over the Sate, too.

  5. Dave August 29, 2011 at 8:50 pm #


    Here is one article. Do we need this to happen here before people take these illegal backwoods grows serious enough.

    I often hike, hunt and fish “off” the beaten path. In dry country it’s where you are going to find the fish and wildlife… used to be you didn’t have to worry about this kind of “wildlife”.

  6. Bob Loblaw August 29, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    You apparently haven’t read it. The councilman’s regular job was keeping track of that section of forest.

  7. Joann Lijek August 29, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    A Fort Bragg councilman was found murdered near an illegal pot farm he was investigating just this week.

    • Rob August 29, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

      What’s a councilman doing investigating an illegal pot farm?

      That story stinks already.

  8. Dingo August 27, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    Drunks seem to keep a lot of people employed, from cops to judges and everthing in between and those with a college degree who works in the courts. Stoners don’t act like drunks unless they are drunk too. Nor do they lose control of themselves like drunks do. To say that a stoner is “driving under the influence” is almost silly. Many of the mind blowing tricks we see people doing today on skis, snowboards, motorcycles, skateboards, bicycles etc are being done by stoners. How do they do those tricks if they are “under the influence” Of course not ALL are stoners but many are. If we were to take a before and after photo, as they do with meth heads, of someone who has smoked pot for 30 yrs and the same for an alcoholic the drunk would appear far more aged than the stoner. The drunk would resemble the meth head more than the stoner. I’ve known alcoholic buisness owners who ran their buisness into the ground by drinking. I’ve never known a stoner who has done that. A former TOML worker now walks the streets of Mammoth due to drinking. Ever watch one of those police shows? How many of those being arrested are stoned and how many are drunk? Alcohol is POISEN and yet it is legal. Society is silly in that way.

  9. Wayne Deja August 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    Terribone…I’m sure if some had their way,and judging from your post,that includes you,anytype of Law Enforcement action,like the recent dope-growing bust ,is way out of line….almost like if these fields are seen,the cops should just smile,laugh and walk away….After all,according to some,marijuana is a “harmless medicine” for all the “patients”in need of their prescriptions.Which I guess also means it should be OK…and legal for people to use the National Forests as their own dope growing farms to profit on.

  10. Eastside August 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    @ Terribone… actually there have been quite a few instances where people were threatened, shot at, or otherwise intimidated away from illegal grows on PUBLIC LAND in the State of CA. It happens to hunters and hikers all the time in the Nor Cal.

    It’s only a matter of time before it happens here along the eastside!

    Should we wait until it does happen? The threat is real indeed and only getting worse. Remember the huge grow that was discovered on the backside of the Glass Mtns just a few years ago?? if I was a bow hunter (its deer season) I would carry a firearm also… I hope the Game Warden would understand.

    Again, I have no problem with people growing their own or buying from legit dispensaries. And once again, since prohibition I’m not aware of anyone getting shot at from some backwoods distillery or brewery… legalize the weed, tax it, manage it and let people enjoy their freedom – just don’t go F@#$&% up our public lands and wildlife habitat to make an illegal profit.

    • Rob August 29, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

      removing the illegal grows in August doesn’t protect the public from being shot at in June & July. It would be better to catch these people in hopes they don’t return the following year.

  11. Terribone August 26, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    This press release is simply government propaganda. Please, cite one incident where anyone on the Eastside has been harmed or otherwise placed in imminent danger as a result of these grows. Statistically, this is a non-issue. Sierra Wave is being used as a tool in this prohibition, and should be accountable.

    • Tim August 26, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

      I can’t speak for the eastside but the pot growers in the mountains near Sequoia once shot at my friend and I while we were hiking apparently because we were close to their grow and didn’t know it. I really don’t care about people using marijuana. I don’t partake but as long as they don’t use near me or affect me with their use, I could care less. But I do care about hearing the snap of rifle shots going past me all because I was hiking in a national forest.

    • Inyoite August 29, 2011 at 11:31 am #

      Not on the East Side…yet.


  12. Dave August 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    Marijuana and the users who use/sell it are never going away. Just like prohibition didn’t work – so too, the “war on drugs”.

    We live in a “free” society – let people be free. When they harm others directly… enforce the law.

    It’s time to legalize weed and tax it. Allow people to grow their own or buy from respectable dispensaries and outlets. Let regular law abiding citizens do what they are doing already to their bodies. Do I smoke? No. But do I support the freedom of others to do what they wish? You bet.

    The destruction and public safety on OUR PUBLIC LANDS has reached a critical point. All the time/energy and money spent on the “war on drugs” should be spent to eradicate these large illegal grows on our public lands!! The poaching of wildlife, poisoning & diverting streams, and overall degradation with litter and waste is unacceptable.

    Hats off to all the agencies and folks who were a part of this “bust”. Keep up the good work.

    Legalize it – but continue to fight the “Illegal” grows!! I don’t see the same destruction to public lands w/ “illegal” Breweries or Distilleries.

  13. Home girl August 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    Wayne that comment about smokers smokin a joint before work, during lunch etcetera, etcetera is just stupid.

    Based upon prior comments I thought you were of the impression that people who smoked pot didn’t work or contribute to society at all.

    Functioning alcoholics wait until they are home, you are blind and dumb do you think all dui accidents are caused by disfunctioning alcoholics? Or that water bottle contains only water. GEEZ open your eyes man

  14. Wayne Deja August 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    Great,huh?…Having to list warnings at the end of this story,in case your out in the wilderness hiking,fishing,trying to enjoy the day outside,either by yourself,or with friends and family,and you happen across a marijuana “grow farm” on public property.Just another reason why it’s a good idea to carry a pistol when your out in the forest,sadly,to protect yourself from these illegal pot sellers.I can remember the Independance fire up by Oak Creek a few years back…and finding a farm of marijuana while they were fighting the fire……from what I remember about that,maybe two of the “farmers”were too stoned to see the fire coming,and not able to get out of its way.What a shame!!

  15. andrew August 25, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    Wayne are you speaking from experience, how else can you make that statement.???

  16. Wayne Deja August 25, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    And God bless the people that are forced to support you while you go through your life stoned…..

    • Ken Warner August 25, 2011 at 10:28 am #

      That is off the mark. What about all the functional alcoholics that work every day. You think that pot smokers are less capable than a drunk? You probably talk to ten stoners every day and don’t even know it.

      Further, all the illegal drugs are illegal because the drug dealers make more money from illegal drugs than they would if drugs were legal.

      And then the (big) drug dealers contribute to the political campaigns of the politicians who are most rabidly anti-drug so that those politicians continue the “War on Drugs”.

      That’s my conspiracy theory anyway.

      Both tobacco and alcohol destroy more lives and kill more people than all the illegal drugs combined. Ever go into Vons and see a fairly respectable looking person with a shopping cart full of booze shaking at the cash register because that person can’t get home fast enough to start drinking? Yet those substances are legal and even promoted by vast commercial marketing efforts. Yet pot is not. Ever wonder why?

      I think a person should have the right to destroy his/her life anyway they want. None of my business. Just stay off the roads when you are too drunk or stoned to drive and that’s all the social regulation that’s necessary.

      And as a society with a huge debt and deficit problem, maybe we should stop spending the money it costs to put people in jail for smoking a common garden weed. Maybe we should spend that money on schools and teachers that can tell the truth about drug use of all kinds so that kids can at least make smarter decisions.

      • upthecreek August 25, 2011 at 9:31 pm #



        • Bob Loblaw August 26, 2011 at 7:02 am #

          Yes, because that TOTALLY has something to do with this!! Get a life.

        • Ken Warner August 26, 2011 at 9:01 am #

          I don’t understand what your point is….

      • Wayne Deja August 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

        Most of the “funtional alcoholics” I have known in my life,they would get up in the morning,work their job,then come home and consume their alcohol…and would be wrong doing so,but also going out to taverns at night,and driving home,putting everyone at risk by doing so…On the other hand,most habitual pot smokers I have known in my life,they get up in the morning,smoke a joint,drive to their job,if they have a job, driving under the influence at 7am ,at lunch smoke another joint to get through their work day..if they got a work day to get through….And when it’s time to head home,they are puffing away again,driving under the influence for the second time,soon to make it to their house so they can sit down….and fire up the bong.

        • Bob Loblaw August 26, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

          I honestly believe you don’t know any FUNCTIONAL pot smokers. If in fact you know any at all, that is to say know any you are aware of.

          • Wayne Deja August 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

            Bob Loblaw…..HUH?

          • Bob Loblaw August 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

            That is to say Wayne, the folks you mention are far from functional. They are quite apparently not functioning as they are engaging in risky, stupid behavior. By the “aware of” bit, I mean you surely know more people than you think who are “closet” marijuana users.

      • Joann Lijek August 29, 2011 at 10:41 am #

        Pot smokers are no more competent than drinkers, thats for sure, and marijauana is accumulated in fat cells so is not cleared from the body as fast as alcohol.
        Why compare the two?
        Screwed up is screwed up.
        I’ve known a lot of people on prescription meds (not MJ) who are literally “dangerous” on the job.
        So lets make one more thing that makes people screwed up legal.
        I also don’t think that will eliminate the pot farms or illegal pot sales, why should the illegal growers give up their cut? They’ll sell cheaper than the liquor stores, and nothing will change.

        • High & Dry August 31, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

          The reason marijuana is stored in fat cells is because the human body recognizes THC as something that is good for the body. Alcohol, cocaine and meth to mention a few are cleared very quickly from the body because they are identified as a poison by the body. It only makes sense that if the human body holds on to cannabis in it’s fat cells for several months after use there has to be a reason. Our bodies are pretty smart.

          • Wayne Deja September 1, 2011 at 11:01 am #

            Give me a break!!!!

      • Ron September 6, 2011 at 10:59 am #

        Destroy your life all you want….Problem is I have to foot the bill for it. How about we give no more money to no loads? Then the no loads can just disappear through attrition…fading away one by one.

  17. treeman August 24, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    Hey Wayne,,, just got my medical referal so now I’m literally setting up my new GROW ROOM right here in Bishop.. WoooHooo, can’t wait to Harvest time God Bless America LoL.

    • Eamon August 25, 2011 at 8:16 am #

      Thanks very much for doing that, I love the freedoms that our founding fathers fought and died for. No where in the Constitution does it prohibit your grow farm or your ability utilize your medication. This notion of making illegal God’s natural plants is rooted in racism and money. It’s interesting that the ultra-right and the Tea Baggers have decided that we need to get back to smaller government and stick with the Constitutional safe guards but only on matters that they agree with. I support your FREEDOM!

      • downthecreek August 25, 2011 at 10:17 am #

        We live in a police state..
        They can’t handle the idea that the People voted to leagalize MMJ and will continue with their push to put people in jail for growing and posessing MMJ

        Sad day in the USA and Taxifornia

        • Wayne Deja August 25, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

          One thing to be holding one of those MMJ cards handed out by some quack doctor….another thing to be growing your “medicine”on public land…with armed guards….and then selling it,don’t you think?

    • Wayne Deja August 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

      Kinda funny how you don’t get the same kind of “positive feedback”with that type of comment that you would up in Mammoth Lakes,isn’t it?..And Eamon,I am sure this is what our forefathers had in mind when they were fighting for,and losing their lives, to give us all the freedoms this Country has now.


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