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Yosemite National Park latest site of illegal pot farm discovery, eradication

August 21, 2009 |  4:03 pm


Is there any wild place that isn't going to pot?

Yosemite National Park is the latest in a list of popular outdoor destinations to report discovery and eradication of illegal marijuana farms.

(If the photo looks familiar, it was used earlier this week to illustrate a similar occurrence in Mono County. That followed discoveries and eradication efforts in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. Both discoveries prompted warnings for hikers to exercise caution and report suspicious activities.)

Yosemite rangers and National Park Service Agents, with assistance from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, eradicated 4,735 marijuana plants valued at nearly $19 million from within the park on Thursday.

They found and removed nearly 400 pounds of fertilizer, 3,000 feet of irrigation hose and 200 pounds of human trash. The trash posed a threat to wildlife, especially bears, which are easily habituated to garbage. Park officials did not disclose the location of the discovery.

“Yesterday’s operation reaffirms our commitment that Yosemite remains safe for visitors, that the park will not accept these incursions, and organized growers will not profit from these activities”, Chief ranger Steve Shackelton said in a news release.

Presumably, this "abuse of public property" was the work of Mexican drug trafficking operations. Hikers who stumble into these areas are urged to leave as quickly as possible and report to the nearest authorities

-- Pete Thomas

Photo of pot plants by the Associated Press