Sheriffâ??s, Researchers in Race to Save Wildlife & Watershed

Aug 1, 2013 6:25 PM

By Nick Dobis, News Web/Social Media Producer

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, in tandem with other local law enforcement and wildlife researchers, are trying to find marijuana cultivators whose sites contain lethal amounts of rodenticide.

Between July 29 and August 1, Deputies along with U.S. Forest Service Agents, Hoopa Valley Tribal Police, and the Cannabis Eradication and Reclamation Team conducted eradications of three different marijuana cultivation sites in Humboldt County. Along with the officers, three civilian researchers with backgrounds in wildlife, toxicology, and ecology joined them. Over the three-day period, the team found over 16,000 Marijuana plants as well as 17 pounds of the potent Second Generation anticoagulant rodenticide.

On July 29, the team conducted an eradication at a site just below Brushy Mountain Lookout on Friday Ridge in Willow Creek. According to the department’s press release, the officers successfully eradicated over 7,500 growing plants which were growing directly on U.S. Forrest Service land.

Along with the plants, the researchers who accompanied the team found 14 pounds of 2nd generation anticoagulant bait. The researchers also located two deer carcasses and 32 ounces of Carbofauran, a banned chemical in the U.S. due to its toxicity to people and wildlife. Officers at the scene stated they also witnessed potential environmental damage to the watershed.

On July 31, the team conducted an eradication at a site located in the Supply Creek Watershed on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. The officers found and eradicated over 8,400 plants, as well as a recently deceased Fisher in the garden site. Fishers are currently under review by the State and Federal Government to be listed as an endangered species. The researchers took the remains of the Fisher to conduct a necropsy. According to the department’s press release, the Fisher did not have any obvious signs of death. They also indicated more environmental damage was found at the scene.

Today, the team went to a third site at Le-Terron Flat near Orleans. At that site 376 plants were found and eradicated.

In total, the team found 17 pounds of the lethal Second Generation anticoagulant rodenticide at the three sites. The researchers indicated many of these toxicants were located near creek beds and watersheds.

The investigation into those responsible for operating these marijuana sites is ongoing.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.


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