National Park Service/Handout
The illegal grow is one of hundreds that authorities have found in Death Valley over the last decade, officials said, and marijuana grow sites can damage or destroy parts of the national park. Chemicals used in pesticides, clearing of protected lands and diverting water resources can all cause irreparable destruction.
While California legalized marijuana in 2016, it remains prohibited on federal lands. It’s not known who was cultivating the spot, but a park spokesperson told National Parks Traveler that rangers flew over the area to “photograph the extent and to (hopefully) encourage the growers to abandon the site.”
The 40-acre grow was found in Jail Canyon, a rarely visited canyon on the western side of the Panamint Mountains, the National Park Service said in a news release. The area is near the border between California and Nevada.
The park service said in a statement that illegal marijuana growers have also been known to threaten hikers who inadvertently came across their crops.
Sheriff’s deputies on a routine flight between a pair of known marijuana grows sniffed out a third, much larger and more sophisticated operation.
People can grow marijuana in California, but not outdoors and not more than 12 plants, except in cities offering manufacturing permits.
The deputies are undercover so we aren’t naming him and can’t show their faces, but their noses led them to an estimated 50,000 pot plants.
Deputies spent all day Friday tearing down the plants growing in 18 greenhouses and hauling them away.
They filled a truck trailer with the marijuana from just about one-half of one of those greenhouses, so they’ll need to make several trips to an unidentified disposal site to get rid of all of it.
“We found 200 plants of differing stages of growth within the address.
“The electrics had been bypassed which can be extremely dangerous and will need to be fixed.
Police stormed the property in Denewood Crescent, Bilborough, at 8.30am on Monday (19 July) after responding to concerns from local residents.
A large cannabis farm was discovered inside an empty house after neighbours complained of a strong smell.
The grow is believed to have a street value of up to £200,000.
No-one was found inside the house and enquiries to find those responsible are ongoing. The plants have been seized and destroyed.
Inside they found around 200 cannabis plants sprawled across four areas.