Recognizing an illegal grow to stay safeOver the last three years, the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, in cooperation with interagency enforcement agencies, has eradicated numerous marijuana grows that were cultivated by large drug trafficking organizations.
Over the last three years, the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, in cooperation with interagency enforcement agencies, has eradicated numerous marijuana grows that were cultivated by large drug trafficking organizations. These grow sites were located on the Nicolet land base in 2010 and 2012, and Chequamegon land base in 2011, all were first reported by hunters and fishermen.
The illegal activity of growing and harvesting marijuana on public lands is expected to continue.
The safety of the public and employees is the top priority for the U.S Forest Service. The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and other public lands are being used for these illegal operations as they are often vast, uninhabited acres the growers find have the right conditions for the illegal operations.
Typically planting occurs in the spring and harvesting in late summer. Even with the late snowmelt in much of northern Wisconsin activity may already be occurring with these illegal grows.
These marijuana growers drug trafficking organizations are dangerous and known to carry firearms. Forestry staff ask visitors to be aware of their surroundings and know what to do to remain safe. Although it is unlikely you will come across one of these sites, knowing how to recognize them is vital.
Indicators of illegal marijuana grow sites include:
• Isolated tents in the forest where no other recreational activity is present.
• Garden tools, bags of fertilizer, and large amounts of garbage.
• Signs of cultivation or soil disturbances like many holes in unlikely areas.
• 1 to 2 acre or smaller cleared areas with stumps up to 3-feet tall
If you encounter a site or unusual circumstances, you should take these action immediately:
• Leave the area quickly and quietly as possible.
• Do your best to know your location by use of landmarks or waypoints.
• Notify local law enforcement authorities or notify the local Ranger District Office.
Authorities will continue to work to decrease this unlawful and damaging activity. Your assistance is important to help stop marijuana growing in your national forest.