We have all heard the stories of hikers stumbling across illegal dope grows out in the national forest, the Mexican Cartels, and the 'no go' areas of CA. These drug growers damage the forest, poach wildlife, and have been known to shoot hikers who happen across them. An article in USA Today, Aug 19, told that the latest CA fire was started by the Cartel boys while cooking dinner at one of their grows. As an environmentalist, it pisses me off that this is happening in our public lands.
We hikers can help keep our national forests safe by reporting grow sites and suspicious activity to the authorities. I found a grow two years ago in the Matazals, a quarter mile east of the Arizona Trail near a popular Boy Scout Camp site. So, M-16 toting illegal aliens are that close to your kids out there. No better reason to shut them down. I do not advocate others to go out looking for grows; but it is fun for those of us with nothing to lose, hiking off trail in the manzanita, seeing remotest of places.
I was wondering if there are any others in the club who like to go 'hunting', and if anyone has any tips or suggestions to help out. The best places to look are around reliable water sources, like springs, wells, creeks,etc. However, there are just so many miles and miles of territory out there to search, even with aids like sat maps and the like, it is difficult to find anything. The Bradshaws have had some busts, as have the Rim area and Matazals. Gila County is also a good area. This weekend will be a hike along the feeder streams of Cherry Creek, just east of the Sierra Anchas.
Lets keep the comments on topic and not about the question of legalization of marijuana, or whether getting stoned is a good idea or not. There is plenty of material here in which to bash or ridicule without the aid of those tired arguments. Yes, the mission is potentially dangerous, but not any more dangerous than walking through South Phoenix after dark. Besides, the odds of finding a grow are about zero unless you put in a bunch of miles intelligently.
Here is a pic of the trash left behind at the Matazal grow site. Thousands of starter dixie cups, plastic bird netting, a bone yard of poached wildlife, fertilizer bags, irrigation equiment, shoes, clothes, tortilla wrappers, Miracle Grow, etc. etc. Basically, the same trash you find at Organ Pipe National Monument or anywhere near the human trafficking routes.
For the love of god, don't PM a robot!