With the assistance of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, National Park Service rangers eradicated the second large marijuana cultivation site of the season. Due to the remote location and steep terrain along the upper Middle Fork of the Kaweah River, the enforcement team was inserted by helicopter.
The raid on this site took place in June. A total of 3,000 plants were removed by hand. Each plant at maturity is capable of producing a pound of high-grade buds.
A pound of pot, depending on the potency, can be sold for $6,000 to $8,000 to street dealers. Total haul of this eradication effort was $15 million worth of product that did not go to market, the NPS reported.
Since 2002, Mexican cartels have been operating large-scale cultivation enterprises in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks that have caused inestimable damage to park resources. More than 300,000 plants with a value $875 million have been eradicated through the efforts of interagency task forces.
“With the extra water in the drainages this year, these two grow sites are only the beginning of our eradication efforts,” said Jeff Webb, law enforcement specialist at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.