Marijuana growers are active in the nation’s national forests and it’s important for your safety to be aware of your surroundings.
If you encounter a drug operation, back out immediately! Never engage the growers as these are extremely dangerous people. If you can identify a landmark or record a GPS coordinate, that’s very helpful.
Here are some clues that you may have come across a marijuana cultivation site:
- The smell of marijuana, especially on hot days, is like a skunk.
- Hoses or drip lines located in unusual or unexpected places.
- A well-used trail where there shouldn’t be one.
- Voices coming from an unusual place.
- People standing along roads without vehicles present, or in areas where loitering appears unusual.
- Grow sites are usually found in isolated locations, in rough steep terrain (typically between 500 to 5,500 feet elevation.)
- Camps containing cooking and sleeping areas with food, fertilizer, weapons, garbage, rat poison, and/or dead animals.
- Small propane bottles (so that the grower avoids detection of wood smoke.) Individuals armed with rifles out of hunting season.
Get to a safe place and, as soon as possible, report the encounter to any uniformed member of the Forest Service or to your local law enforcement agency. Report as much detail about the location and incident as you can recall.
Source: USFS - http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5302522.pdf