Another MJ Grow Found In Lower Crab Creek

Another spring, another grow op taken down in the Lower Crab Creek Wildlife Area of Central Washington.

A Department of Fish & Wildlife eradication team pulled just under 10,000 “freshly planted”  marijuana plants on the state land between Othello and the Columbia River recently.

“This is an area where we have long suspected, due to the remote and rugged terrain, of holding more gardens,” said Deputy Chief Mike Cenci.

WDFW made a bust here in late April 2010, seizing 1,700 to 2,000 seed cups.

Growers set up their illegal activities in the thick Russian olive stands, running hoses from nearby water sources for irrigation.

As with last year’s bust here, a suspect tending the grow escaped officers, but they seized a .22 pistol and a “high-powered air rifle.”

“The garden was very well camouflaged and screened, making it impossible for it to have been spotted from the air,” said Cenci.

We detailed the issue of pot grows on public lands on our blog and in the print issue of Northwest Sportsman last year.

“They cut rooms out inside the thickets and leave an upper story of canopy for cover from helicopters and planes,” says a local hunter who stumbles onto abandoned sites near springs and drainages in fall while stalking deer, in winter while pursuing coyotes or looking for shed antlers in early spring.

“But after April 1, I try to avoid the brush because of them,” he says.

Damage to the environment also concerns land managers. Just last week, a 91,000-plant grow was taken down in Northeast Oregon last Wednesday by a multi-agency task force. Discovered by spring bear hunters, growers had terraced a mile of a ravine. They also use powerful and dangerous chemicals on the crops.

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