A press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff''s Office describes three investigations conducted this week which netted a total of 16,370 growing marijuana plants, large quantities of fertilizer and 2nd generation anticoagulant rodenticide bait, as well as other toxic substances. The sites were located in Brushy Mountain Lookout on Friday Ridge-Willow Creek, the Supply Creek Watershed on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation, and in Le-Terron Flat, Orleans.
Agents also found a recently deceased Fisher at one of the sites. Fishers are presently under review by the State and Federal agencies as candidates for listing as endangered species. Investigators will conduct a necropsy on the fisher to determine the cause of death. The complete press release appears below.
Use the player below to hear more on this story in a piece aired by KMUD News Correspondent, Christina Aanestad, on the KMUD Local News Thurs., Aug. 1, 2013.
HCSO press release, dated 08-01-2013:
On 07-29-2013, at approximately 7:00 a.m. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, United States Forest Service (U.S.F.S.) Agents , Hoopa Valley Tribal Police ( H.V.T.P.) Officers and the Cannabis Eradication and Reclamation Team (C.E.R.T.) conducted an open field investigation and eradication of a large marijuana cultivation site below the Brushy Mountain Lookout on Friday Ridge, Willow Creek. Three civilian scientific researchers with a background in wildlife, toxicology and ecology were with the officers when they entered the marijuana site. The officers eradicated 7521 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 4’ tall to 6’ tall. All the marijuana was being cultivated on United States Forest Service Land. While conducting the investigation the researchers and deputies located the following:
• 1230 lbs. dry fertilizer
• 28 lbs. liquid concentrated fertilizer
• 14 lbs. 2nd generation anticoagulant rodenticide bait
o enough to kill 2,246 woodrats or gray squirrels
o OR 12 fishers
o OR at least 4 spotted owls
• 32 oz. Carbaryl insecticide
• 32 oz. Carbofuran (banned chemical in United States due to its toxicity to people and wildlife)
o a 1/4 to 1/8 teaspoon is enough to kill a 300-400 black bear.
Deputies also located fresh hot dogs strung from a tree on treble fish hooks, along with two dead deer carcasses and a bird, a Hermit thrush. Officers also witnessed environmental damage to the watershed.
On 07-31-2013, at approximately 7:00 a.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies, USFS Agents, H.V.T.P. Officers and C.E.R.T. Officers conducted a marijuana investigation and eradication at another cultivation site located in the Supply Creek Watershed on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. The three researchers again accompanied the officers. The officers located and eradicated 8,473 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 3’ to 6’ tall. Agents also found a recently deceased Fisher in the garden site. Fishers are currently under review by the State and Federal Government to be listed as an endangered species. The officers and researchers again found environmental damage to the area. The researchers took custody of the deceased Fisher and intend to conduct a necropsy on it to determine the exact cause of death. There was no obvious signs as to what killed it.
On 8-1-2013, at approximately 9:00 a.m. the same team listed above with the researchers went to a third marijuana cultivation site located at Le-Terron Flat, Orleans , which is USFS property. The officers located and eradicated 376 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 3’ to 4’ tall.
A total of 1942 lbs of dry fertilizer, 58 lbs of liquid concentrate fertilizer, 17 pounds of second generation anticoagulant rodenticide bait were removed in total from the three sites. The rodenticide by itself had the potential to kill 2,753 wood rats, 14 fishers and 5 spotted owls per the researchers. Many of these toxicants were near creeks.
The investigation into those responsible for these marijuana grows is continuing.
Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.