BLM California News.bytes 
News.bytes Extra, issue 547

BLM Staff Uses Mustangs to Clean up Marijuana Garden Site

Trained mustangs from the BLM’s Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Corrals were indispensable and cost saving tools when staff from the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office cleaned up a high desert marijuana garden in northeast California last month.

landscape
High desert rangeland along Stony Creek in Lassen County is not the typical scene associated with public land marijuana growing.

Faced with a rugged, remote garden site inaccessible by vehicles, the Eagle Lake Office staff turned to the corrals, the horse-handling expertise of BLM wranglers and BLM’s group of trained wild horses for help in cleaning up the extensive growing site.

packs loaded on a horse
A pack horse heads out of the grow site, hauling a carefully packed and balanced load.

The crew made 14 pack trips out of the canyon and filled a truck with irrigation lines, fertilizer packaging and camping debris. The field office estimated a savings of $5,000 to $10,000 compared to using a helicopter.  BLM wranglers pitched in with horse handling duties.

dead plant stalks and a live plant
Dead plant stalks and a young live plant indicate past and active use at the site.

BLM law enforcement rangers said it appeared the growing site, capable of producing up to 7,000 plants, had been used for three years.  It was hidden among brush and streamside vegetation on public and private land about seven miles from Highway 395 near the California-Nevada border northeast of Susanville.

- Jeff Fontana, Public Affairs Officer, BLM Northern California District (September, 2012)

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 547 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.