UPDATED 5:35 PM PT — Wednesday, November 13, 2019
The U.S. Forest Service is saying Mexican drug cartels are using U.S. National Parks for large marijuana growing operations, causing immense damage.
On Tuesday, forest officials said water and native wildlife are slowly being poisoned due to insecticides and other illegal substances banned by the EPA. They warned these substances are incredibly toxic for park visitors as well.
Officials said the cartels take advantage of the forests’ thick tree canopies to hide their operations, which can go undetected for years. Executive Director for the Cannabis Removal on Public Lands Project Rich McIntyre said the public is “blissfully unaware” of the problem.
“The forest service is grossly underfunded on a number of fronts, not just on a law enforcement front but on the scientific front as well,” stated McIntyre. “That’s something that we hope to change.”
These pot-growing operations have mostly plagued California National Parks for years.