Pot Garden Discovered At Sierra Nevada National Park Was Worth At Least $36 Million!

August 31, 2009
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Officials: pot garden discovered at Sierra Nevada National Park (at least $36 million). After the pot garden was discovered, a Sierra Nevada National Park exhibit closed. At least $36 million?? Read the story, and see photos and video here.

pot garden

As wild as it may sound, the problem is occurring with increasing regularity. Just a week ago, firefighters in Santa Barbara’s Los Padres National park began battling an enormous wild-fire sparked by campers hired to manage another pot growing operation. As of last week, that fire had burned an area stretching more than 136 square miles.

Drug enforcement officials say the increasing problem stems from a crackdown across the border by the Mexican Army, which has pushed the armed drug cartels northward into United States territory. The number of operations uncovered usually increases this time of year due to the typical harvest dates of September through October.

This week’s bust in California is one of the largest yet, and is the first time Sequoia National Park had to close down an exhibit as a result of a drug bust. Sadly, that exhibit is a well-known cave, with a crystal-covered interior.

Authorities discovered the massive pot garden only about a half-mile away from the popular cave. Park Rangers repelled from helicopter to clear out the site, which included trash, propane tanks, and thousands of feet of irrigation hose. Much of the pot garden had already been harvested, but combined with the remaining plants was estimated to be worth at least $36 million.

Even though Sierra Nevada National Park is known for its gargantuan Sequoia trees, the cave itself also draws many visitors.

Beth Fritsch, who was visiting the park from Maryland, told the AP:

“I’m fine with the trees, but I really wanted to see the caves. It’s sad to see that this is happening now inside the national parks.”

Far from a mere inconvenience, though, the pot growing operation has environmental and financial consequences. Park officials say the estimated loss in cave ticket sales could rise to $35,000 before the investigation is complete.
Spokeswoman Adrienne Freeman, spoke about the damage to native species that can occur, saying:

“…what’s worse, this pot has been growing next to a sensitive area where there are dozens of species at risk that are only in this park.”

All of the materials discovered will be examined for fingerprints and other evidence that could lead authorities to the individuals responsible for the $36 million pot garden at Sierra Nevada National Park.

What are your thoughts on this problem? Voice your opinion in the comments section below.

I’ve included a CNN video about the issue below.

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613 Responses to “Pot Garden Discovered At Sierra Nevada National Park Was Worth At Least $36 Million!”

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  1. 151
    blahblahblah Says:

    Our government is out of cotrol,greedy,power hungry and not very bright. I see a civil war brewing in the future just like the ones in the past, all for the same reasons as in the past. Over taxation,power hungry, greedy government. It is very obvious that our educational system doesn’t work otherwise we would have learned from our history, alas we have not. Wake up American government, maybe you should smoke some of this weed so you’ll loosen up a little.
    I have known a lot of pot smokers in my time and not a single one ever did anything cruel. They have got to be the laziest people in the world but very nice people. Our bureauacracy is hypacritacle, we legalize prescription drugs,alcohol,cigars and cigarettes but noooooo not pot. What a bunch of yahoos!

  2. 152
    Mark Says:


  3. 153
    laura gagne Says:

    oh man…these ppl lost 35,000 dollars because they couldnt show off this cave…but they just chopped down and burned 36 MILLION dollars in money trees. that makes me cringe. growing marijuana is like raising a child. if something happens to it there is devistation. imagine what these people thought when they saw on the news that all there hard work and money just got thrown away…wow i really wish the government had enough sense to leagalize they are only causing ass pain for themselves.

  4. 154
    scott Says:

    Mr. Robinson…you sound like one who is willing to offer 2 cents without the knowledge of the subject…as so many politicians have in the past. Marijuana is illegal because of cigarette companies and tax incentives 50 yrs ago…”gateway drug” “reefer madness” and other rediculous non-existanct “dangers” are always quoted with this subject. “More auto accidents and crime” are just a few easy excuses that are not justified. You want morality back in this country? lets not allow non-participants or those ignorant to the subject to create and regulate the laws. The cannibis plant has numerous uses. Seemingly cancer patients find it extremely useful. Don’t be so quick to judge our morality based on the efforts of mis-guided, amoral politicians of your generation. (assumption based on the WW1 and WW2 quote)
    it’s time to allow the next genderation to more accutely and accurately instruct ourselves. All respect intended, but you are wrong about the morality tied to the subject. We dont’let people tell us what is right and wrong. We think for ourselves and allow science to dictate as opposed to some hollier-than-thou politician, who most likely just drank his 3rd martini and drove home.

  5. 155
    Pearl Otis Says:

    I wrote this out before and somehow it got deleted so I will try again. I wanted to say that the reason the government doesn’t want pot legalized is that they are into the drug business themselves and don’t want any competition. They are also afraid that people would learn to make hemp for clothing and it would put the nylon companies out of business. I don’t think they care if Americans are healthy or not. If they did, they would outlaw Alcohol. That kills tons of people every year in car wrecks, plus is killing the people doing it. I think people should be free to decide what they want to do with their health so long as they aren’t hurting anyone else. Why not outlaw cigarettes. That kills people. I mean if it is a health concern that would be the first logical place to start, but the fact remains that Americans have a right to decide for themselves. However, people do not have a right to deface public property, such as a park. Also, the American people, especially the young, need to be educated in the facts about what makes people happy and should not be depending upon a crutch. Other nations are surpassing us because we are a nation that just wants to sit around and “feel good” all the time instead of worrying about our economy, our political situation, our children, our schools, etc. Pot is used as a crutch, and the young particularly need to be taught that they don’t need a crutch in order to be happy in life. There was a time when Americans were mainly concerned with being productive citizens and not will being high or having fun all the time. Life does not consist in making oneself happy and having fun constantly. We should be concerned about our economy, our political situation, our children, our schools, etc. Also, pot is against the law and we should try to obey the laws even if they aren’t just. I think pot (I can’t spell mariajuiana so I call it pot)has some medicinal uses, such as for people in pain or someone deeply depressed as a temporary measure, combined with proper medical treatment. It is not meant to be a crutch. People say, “Well, it is natural. Well, so are cedar trees, but I don’t eat them.” Pot takes you out of reality. If your reality is that bad, maybe you need to go see a counselor. In Oregon it is legal for people who need it as a medicine to relax with. That is mainly because the feds don’t want to be called every time someone is growing 2 pot plants. They don’t have time for that, though the cops can take your property if you have one plant on it. That also is to me rediculous. That shows the extreme fanaticism they have about it. The punishment should fit the crime.

  6. 156
    nikkiinnevada Says:

    I totally agree with leagalizing the pot. Let the government put a tax on it, and we would be out of debt in a matter of months. I think it would help get us out of this national debt that the we are in. Since the government is all about spending money, how about they find a way to turn this into a profit making market. You can’t overdose on it. And drinking is legal. When you’re stoned you don’t want to drive! Unless it’s to go to the nearest 7-11 for more cheetos!

  7. 157
    Kris Says:

    I find it interesting that most of the comments want to legalize Pot. I wonder how many of those are users. My feelings are the following. We have people crossing the border illegally on orders of the drug cartels to grow illegal drugs in our national parks. That is not something that should be legalized but then the same cartels will figure out how to benefit from it. I can tell you first hand how violent these cartels are after having worked in Juarez Mexico for 18 weeks last year. There was close to 2000 murders in 2008. They will shoot and decapitate with out remorse. As far as i am concerned the cartels should be hunted down and put down like rabid dogs. Send a message to them that out national parks and other areas are of limits and to stay on their side of the border. I think our law enforcement men and women are doing an amazing job and should be commended.

  8. 158
    john Says:

    Just legalize it we all know that will solve the problem.

  9. 159
    Mark Says:

    Wouldn’t it have been a good idea to leave a couple small inconspicuous cameras in the pot garden? Then surveillance teams could have tracked down the owners instead of relying on other bits of evidence lying around?

  10. 160
    D-Ron Says:

    Let’s see… $35,000 in lost income compared to a $36 million harvest for one year. Wow! Since there will be users regardless, it is time the taxpayer wake up and recognize the power of this cashflow. The profits alone could justify funding drug education. “Just say no!” is the dumbest thing ever. Know your body and definitely “Know when to say when!”

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