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Northern California District
Release Date: 09/10/13
Contacts: Jeff Fontana (530) 252-5332    
News Release No. CA-N-13-85

Three Days Needed for High Desert Marijuana Garden Cleanup

Staff from the Bureau of Land Management's Eagle Lake Field Office in Susanville needed about three days in early September to clean up the site of an illegal marijuana cultivation operation on high desert public lands near Pete's Creek, northeast of Susanville.

Rugged terrain prevented access by vehicle, so crews hiked into the area, and then used horses to pack out more than 1,200 pounds of plastic irrigation tubing along with miscellaneous household and camping-associated trash.

BLM officials said using horses saved about $30,000 compared to using a helicopter to haul out the garden debris.

Officers from the multi-agency Lassen County Narcotics Task Force raided the growing operation Aug. 6. They seized nearly 10,000 plants with an estimated the street value of $9 million and arrested two persons.

BLM officials reminded hunters and other public land visitors to be observant in the back country and to report things that appear to be 'out of place." They said irrigation tubing, trash such as fertilizer and pesticide packaging and well-established campsites in lightly used areas could be signs of marijuana growing activity.

Concerns should be reported to the BLM or local law enforcement.

A pack horse loaded with irrigation tubing is lead out of a rugged area by a lead rider. Click for a High Resolution photo.
Photo caption:
A pack horse and lead rider head out of the rugged Pete's Creek area with a load of irrigation tubing used in an illegal marijuana garden on public land. Photo by Darrin VonHelf, BLM. 

Download a high resolution photo.  


Northern California District   355 Hemsted Drive, Redding, CA 96002  

Last updated: 09-10-2013