Deputies, Scientists Find Horrific Cannabis Industry Destruction Of Wildlife, Public Lands

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A panoply of poisons at one of the cannabis cultivation sites. Photos courtesy HCSO

Sheriff Mike Downey with a dead Fisher. The Fisher is likely to de designated as an Endangered Species in California next year.

Sheriff Mike Downey with a dead Fisher found at one of the sites. The Fisher is likely to de designated as an Endangered Species in California next year.

HCSO Press Release


 On Monday, July 29 at approximately 7 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 7,521 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:

1,230 lbs. dry fertilizer

28 lbs. liquid concentrated fertilizer

14 lbs. 2nd generation anticoagulant rodenticide bait – enough to kill 2,246 woodrats or gray squirrels, OR 12 fishers, 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)

a 1/4 to 1/8 teaspoon is enough to kill a 300-400 black bear.

201303872 013Deputies 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 Wednesday, July 31 at approximately 7 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 Thursday, Aug. 1 at approximately 9 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.

The poisoned Fisher.

The dead Fisher.

A total of 1,942 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 five spotted owls, said 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 Sheriff’s 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.

Mike Downey



A landscape of destruction.

A landscape of destruction.