Naturalists hiking through Point Reyes National Seashore may stumble upon a plant they won't find in their field guide, Cannabis sativa. Apparently, someone has planted thousands of marijuana plants in a secret garden in a remote area of the park. Inconsiderate park rangers have removed the plants and ruined an entrepreneurs plans to make tie-died hemp t-shirts.
Rangers find 2,470 pot plants in national park (Point Reyes Light)
Park Service Rangers uprooted 2,470 marijuana plants last Thursday on National Park land along the Bolinas-Fairfax road, upsetting some Olema valley residents. The raid was part of what has become an annual hunt for pot in the park. In the day-long operation, two helicopters hovered near Dogtown as 12 Park Service rangers, six Marin County sheriff deputies and a State Park ranger cut down the crop. No one was arrested in the operation.
Rangers swooped over the area in a National Guard helicopter on Tuesday and spotted marijuana in a stand of Manzanitas. It was easily seen from the air since it was greener than the other vegetation.
"Were on the look out all the time" said Head ranger Colin Smith.
For a park that is more than 100 square miles, eight rangers just isnÂt enough to spot everything said Smith. After they checked the site from the air they moved in the next day with a ground patrol and two helicopters; one lifted the plants out and another hovered near-by. These kinds of operations are particularly dangerous, explained Smith, since the growers have the advantage of knowing the terrain.
The abandoned site was about two acres and had a crop of plants 2-3 feet tall. The growers had been camping and their tents, propane tanks and stove were surrounded by garbage. Irrigation and fertilizer were also found on the site. It took a full day to transport the confiscated marijuana away. The site is still not completely cleaned of the debris. The 6x6 foot pile of pot is in a locked and secret location and will be burned.
Park rangers may be pleased with their find but residents in the Olema valley had no idea what was going on and were annoyed by the flyovers. Robert Francis Buckenmeyer who lives in Dogtown said that on Tuesday a black helicopter flew about 250 feet above his property. "It was like a police state for two days," said Buckenmeyer. "It freaked me out."