Famed for the biggest trees in the world, Sequoia National Park in California is now No. 1 in another flora department: marijuana growing, with more land carved up by pot growers than any other park, says the Los Angeles Times. Parts of Sequoia are no-go zones for visitors and park rangers during the April-to-October growing season, when drug lords cultivate pot.
“It’s so big that we have to focus our resources on one or two areas at a time, because otherwise it’s beyond our scope,” says Sequoia’s lone special agent assigned to the marijuana war. He and two seasonal employees face an army of growers. Officials report five encounters between gun-wielding growers and visitors on national forest lands in California this year. In the last year, 100,000 marijuana plants have been removed from California national parks, including 44,000 from Sequoia. Cannabis operations are even more widespread in national forests and on BLM lands, where more than 500,000 plants were yanked last year.