A combined team of LPFW, Patagonia, and mountain community volunteers assembled recently on the flanks of Frazier Mountain on the Mount Pinos Ranger District of the Los Padres National Forest to clean up an abandoned marijuana grow site.
Volunteers removed hundreds of pounds of camp litter, grow detritus and assorted junk, and removed over a half-mile of irrigation line from the site.
Temps never reached above freezing during the course of the work, but the volunteers were undeterred. “It was a cold day, but between the local mountain community residents who came to help, our Patagonia team, and other hearty volunteers, we had a really capable crew who took the time to scout various side ravines and clear out trash the critters had hauled up some pretty steep drainages,” said Craig R. Carey, Director of Outdoor Programs for ForestWatch. “And a huge thanks to the Frazier Park Public Utility District, who lent us some additional muscle to haul the heavier debris off the Forest. A great day all around.”
Growers often establish makeshift camps at many of the grow sites; most of these sites and the guerrilla trails leading to and around them are often beset with trash and debris, irrigation pipe, camping gear, saw mix, and chemicals used to fertilize the plants.
The preparation of sites for cannabis growing causes significant damage to the land- and waterscape (stream diversion, the cutting and removal of various trees and brush, as well as aggressive and disruptive landscape terracing), practices lamented by local officials and environmental advocates throughout the region.
Thanks to everybody who contributed to making the project such a success, and also see the article appearing in the Mountain Enterprise about the project here.
For more information about ForestWatch’s volunteer projects or to get involved, visit LPFW.org/volunteer.