Illegal grow site found by hunters in remote part of San Isabel National Forest
FRISCO — Marijuana may be legal in Colorado, but that hasn’t stopped people from growing illegally on public lands.
Most recently, law enforcement officers with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office eradicated a huge growing operation in the San Isabel National Forest.
According to the Forest Service, the grow site, about 40 miles northwest of Trinidad, sprawled across about 10 acres. The eradication team removed more than 11,700 plants, and irrigation pipe, pesticides, flammable liquids, camping gear and trash.
Two men were arrested at one of the camp sites within the cultivation area. The U.S. Forest Service and Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office are working together to identify the individuals. The illegal marijuana plantation was initially discovered by hunters.
“I appreciate the great work of the Forest Service and BLM law enforcement officers working with Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office,” said Huerfano County Sheriff Bruce Newman.
“This marijuana eradication was one of the largest on National Forest System lands in Colorado,” said U.S. Forest Service Special Agent in Charge Laura Mark. “The Forest Service is committed to the safety of visitors and employees, and the protection of natural resources on national forests and national grasslands. We are extremely appreciative of the hunters who discovered the site and notified law enforcement.”
Illegal marijuana grow sites have been described as having serious environmental impacts, with uncontrolled pesticide runoff into streams, as well as unauthorized water diversions.