Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:
On 07-28-2014 and 07-29-2014, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office assisted by the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (C.A.M.P.), and United States Forest Service (U.S.F.S.) agents responded to U.S.F.S. property on Brush Mountain, Gainor Peak and Oak Knob in eastern Humboldt County after sighting marijuana being cultivated on U.S.F.S. land. The deputies were also accompanied by three scientists, two from Integral Ecology Research Center, one of which is also associated with UC Davis, and a Hoopa Tribal Wildlife Ecologist.
During two days, deputies seized 3,760 marijuana plants ranging in size from 18 inches to 4 feet. Deputies and scientists located water diversion, mounds of trash and 24 pounds of rodenticides, of which 9 pounds was peanut butter flavored, and 15 pounds was second generation rodenticide. Malathion and fertilizers were also located at the scenes. No suspects were located in the area of the trespass marijuana grows, however deputies have obtained evidence from the scenes which is being processed, and the investigation is ongoing.
The spring fed water sources that were diverted and used to water the marijuana plants, flow into the South Fork of the Trinity River. The springs were part of a network of subterranean water sources. The scientists reported that impacts from the water diversions and chemicals used on the grows could affect Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon, Steelhead, Foothill Yellow Legged Frogs and the western Pond Turtle.
The scientists reported the rodenticides could potentially kill Fisher, Northern Spotted Owl, American Black Bear, Black Tailed Deer and Humboldt Marten.
Below are quotes from Dr. Mourad Gabriel, UC Davis Wildlife Ecologist/Integral Ecology Research Center who was present with the deputies and USFS Agents:
- “The removal of this massive amount of killing agents within prime spotted owl and fisher habitat is pertinent for the conservation of these species.”
- ” The illegal diversion of this amount of water prohibits the flow of cool water into tributaries that support our salmon populations.”
- “In light of the current drought and high water temperatures, this represents another blow to our already taxed watersheds.”
- “These remediation efforts are crucial in protecting our forest ecosystems.”
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.