Trancas/Zuma Marijuana Site Destroyed
• NPS Discovered 3500 Plants on 10 Acres in June
BY ANNE SOBLE
National Park Service rangers who are also specially trained federal law enforcement officers seized over 3500 marijuana plants from 9.6 acres of parkland in the west end of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
NPS, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority and California State Park personnel discovered the active grow site in late June, and have spent the last two weeks hauling out nearly a ton of plants and growing apparatus, in order to begin restoring the site to its natural state.
Water to irrigate the illegal crop was being diverted from a nearby creek via two miles of plastic hose.
SMMNRA superintendent Woody Smeck said, "Marijuana cultivation is a serious and rising problem in the Santa Monica Mountains and other parklands across the country,"
He said, "The environmental damage caused by marijuana cultivation in otherwise pristine natural areas costs approximately $12,000 per acre to clean up."
Smeck added that marijuana plantations often occur in remote and hard-to-access park locations, away from designated trails and other places frequented by the public and reminded hikers and bikers to stay on designated trails. The NPS urges members of the public to report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement agencies.
The marijuana growing season is approximately April through November. Park rangers conduct regular patrols of remote parkland throughout the summer and fall to rein in growing efforts and prevent extensive damage to the natural environment.