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Elko District Office
Release Date: 06/19/14
Contacts: 775-753-0386    
News Release No. ELDO 2014-041

BLM Elko volunteers clean up illegal marijuana garden

ELKO, Nev. – Several volunteers from the Elko District, Bureau of Land Management, recently trekked through the aspen stands in the north Snake Range to clear out an illegal marijuana garden.

The garden was found by hunters in the area last October. After law enforcement detained the suspects and confiscated the marijuana plants, left behind was severe damage to the natural resources in the area as well as remnants of an illegal campground.

Volunteers from the Elko District spent 12 hours clearing camping equipment, cooking supplies, water catchments and irrigation systems from the roughly six acres affected. Although not completely cleared, the volunteers were able to pack up almost 400 pounds of debris. There was also approximately $60,000 worth of resource damage in cut aspens, earth disturbances and waste.

“We’re cleaning up the site to prevent future use for illegal activities, restore ecological habitat and return it to a more natural state so wildlife can use this great grove for its intended purpose,” said Blaine Potts, Outdoor Recreation Planner, Wells Field Office. “We also want to remind people that if they happen upon a grow site, please don’t approach it. These guys are very dangerous. Retreat from the area and contact your local BLM office, sheriff’s office or any law enforcement agency.”

Signs to be aware of are cut trees surrounding the perimeter of the camp, wires overhead, large water catchments, irrigation systems (black tubing) and marijuana plants. Recreationists who happen upon suspected illegal activity should note the location, GPS if possible, and report it immediately to local law enforcement.

The BLM would like to remind everyone to enjoy their public lands, but to be safe and responsible.

Wires connected to trees were used for drying racks.Dead branches line the perimeter of an illegal marijuana garden.A campsite used in the illegal marijuana garden before it was cleared out.
A makeshift kitchen used at the campsite.The campsite after being cleared.Volunteers stand in front of the approximately 400 pounds of trash removed.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 04-17-2015