August 29, 2009

Cannibis in Colorado Forests--and Predictable Outrage

Following the recent discovery of 14,000 marijuana plants somewhere on the Pike National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service decided to take a larger look at the problem.

Forest Service officials said Wednesday they believe illegal immigrants are being brought to Colorado for mass cultivation of marijuana and they are leaving behind a trail of trash, pesticides and other debris that has damaged public forests and polluted rivers.

We know what country most of these illegal immigrants are coming from--Finland. You can tell from the trash that they leave behind them: koskenkorva bottles, empty jars of cloudberry jam, gnawed crusts of karjalanpiirakka, high-end cell phones, and saunas made from pine poles and blue tarps.

Predictably, Colorado's professional Finnish activists are screaming about ethnic prejudice.

It's a real problem when a bunch of people carrying out an illegal activity on public land decide to defend their little patch of it with snipers armed with deadly Mosin-Nagant rifles. You're walking along with your fishing rod or birding binocs and kaboom!

In all seriousness, this is not cool. If you want to grow dope, do it in the basement, not on my public lands.

A close relative got involved in that whole national-forest growing scene in northern California some years back, and I was real happy when she saw the light and got out of it before anything bad happened to her.

M. and I had a real "Oh shit" movement some years back when we were counting owls for the Bureau of Land Management. On our first hike into one counting area, we rounded a bend in the trail to find stacks of coiled plastic pipe and other construction materials, way way far from any road.

My first thought was "pot plantation!" My second thought was, "Here in Colorado above 8,000 feet?? Is the growing season long enough?" (Evidently it is in places.)

We saw no one. Later we returned and figured out that the rancher with the grazing lease had brought in those materials to pipe water to a stock tank. What a relief.

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