During an interagency raid in Sequoia National Park officials seized over 3,500 marijuana plants with a street value of $5,250,000. The illegal marijuana cultivation site was located in a remote area in the wilderness.
Officials say extensive environmental damage was caused by the cultivators, including thinned or removed vegetation. Approximately 10,000 gallons of water were being diverted from the ecosystem daily. Also large amounts of trash, fertilizers, and pesticides were found in the area.
No arrests have been made.
The investigation included law enforcement officers from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service, and California Department of Justice.
Park officials say for over a decade drug-trafficking organizations have been operating large-scale cultivation operations in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
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.