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Kadie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-27-09 09:12 PM
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Tourists Rerouted Around Pot Garden - Sequoia National Park
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Tourists Rerouted Around Pot Garden
Yosemite, Sequoia National Parks Get Money To Eradicate Marijuana

POSTED: 6:21 pm PDT August 27, 2009
UPDATED: 6:52 pm PDT August 27, 2009

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. -- A section of this Sierra Nevada national park was closed to visitors Thursday while rangers helicoptered in to destroy a sizable marijuana growing operation just a half-mile away from a crystal-filled cave popular with tourists.

Authorities said the proximity of the pot plants to such a heavily trafficked tourist site was unusual and reflects a newfound boldness among growers, who are now planting marijuana near trails and access roads at an increasing number of parks.

"We've really seen an expansion of the types of sites where people are growing marijuana," said Scott Wanek, chief ranger for the Pacific West region of the National Park Service. "There are some that are very close to trails and much closer to where visitors are."

The National Park Service received an additional $3.3 million this year to combat marijuana growers across the nation, said Jeff Olson, a spokesman for the park service. Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, and Redwood national parks in California and North Cascades National Park in Washington are receiving funding.

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http://www.kcra.com/news/20591580/detail.html






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