Yesterday the California State Parks Department, assisted by numerous police agencies and others, tore out an active marijuana grow operation set up by trespass growers near Cuneo Creek Horse Camp in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
Among the organizations involved was the private security firm Lear Asset Management, which made headlines about a year and a half ago, when Mendocino County timber companies hired the Blackwater-like group to tackle the trespass grow problem on their lands. As far as we know, this appears to be their first foray into Humboldt County.
Local documentary photographer James Adam Taylor — a former CCC Americorps member with an interest in public lands — was along for the raid, taking lots of photos and notes. Here’s Taylor’s report:
The site may be associated with the human remains discovered in the park in 2014 [according to parks managers at the scene — Ed.]. It was thought to be an inactive site and was even inspected a few weeks ago by members of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park staff, including Ranger Chris Glenn, after its discovery on Google Earth sometime earlier.
Plans for an NCCC [National Civilian Conservation Corps] crew to hike up and begin restoration work were squashed last week when Ranger Glenn and his NCCC Volunteers made the long, hard hike up to the location to begin their first day of restoration work. Immediately upon entry it was apparent that in the few weeks since initial inspection the site was now active. After safely moving out of the area, a task force from state federal and private organizations was assembled to go in and eradicate the site.
On the day of, authorities made their way to the location in the early morning, apparently waking three individuals who fled into the rugged terrain, leaving behind numerous weapons including a shotgun, an AK-47, and a large quantity of ammunition including handgun magazines.
The team gave chase but was unable to apprehend the individuals. After inspection of the area, a helicopter and private security personnel from LEAR Asset Management were brought in by helicopter to destroy the plants and pack out as much of the tarps, tents, tubing and debris as possible.