As asked for by a reader, the straight scoop on safety in the woods with regard to marijuana cultivation. Here’s a link to a video that shows some pot growing on the Mendocino.
Be safe in the National Forests
What to do if you encounter a marijuana cultivation site
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. The growers may be present and may or may not know that you have found their operation. Get to a safe place and report the encounter to any uniformed member of the Forest Service or to your local law enforcement agency.
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
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.
As soon as you become aware that you have come upon a cultivation site, or have encountered
any of the above situations, back out immediately! Leave the way you came in, and make as
little noise as possible.
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.