Sunday, July 15, 2007

Don't bother hiking in Mendocino County

I'll take and give credit to KC Meadows from the Ukiah Daily Journal, who has finally created an article that makes sense.
How bad is the marijuana problem here? I'll let Meadows' Op-Ed do the talking.

As sad a comment as it is on the state of the illegal pot growing industry in this county, we hope local residents will heed the warning of our national forest rangers to beware the forests this summer.
As they have had to do in the past few years, the rangers at the Mendocino National Forest have issued an advisory to anyone camping or hiking in the national forests not to ignore signs
of pot gardens. They can be dangerous.
Rangers warn not to enter a pot garden, don't go exploring in one and certainly don't try to find the growers or interfere with their operation. The only thing to do is leave the area immediately and call law enforcement. People have been killed in the forests just for stumbling across marijuana gardens. Usually, gardens grown in remote areas of the forest are large and very valuable in street drug cash. The people
growing them are dangerous criminals and probably well armed. They likely won't hestitate to shoot you.
Even rangers don't go into certain areas of the forest when there's an alert of a marijuana-related killing.
Local law enforcement has eradicated more than 46,000 illegal pot plants so far this year. But any law enforcement officer will tell you that's just the tip of the iceberg in this profitable illegal industry.
So if you're in the national forest this summer watch out for: isolated tents or trailers where no recreational activities are located, a pattern of auto or truck traffic or cars and trucks parked in isolated areas on a regular basis, unusual structures and signs of gardening - buckets, fertilizers, garden tools etc. These could mean a marijuana garden nearby.
If you think you've seen one, walk away and call the Mendocino National Forest rangers at 530-934-3316.

Sad, but true. You must be on the look out if you camp or hike.
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