CDFW and Partners Remove Illegal Cannabis Grows Near Sensitive Wildlife Habitat in Trinity and Shasta Counties

During the week of August 26, wildlife officers at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) served seven search warrants in Trinity County and conducted one trespass grow investigation in Shasta County. Support for the missions were provided by the National Guard, the State Water Resources Control Board, the Trinity County Sheriff’s Department and other local agencies.

A records search confirmed that none of the targeted properties had a state license or county permit to grow commercial cannabis, none possessed a Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreement and none were adhering to required CAL FIRE protocols.

The operations focused on protecting sensitive wildlife habitat that contribute to the survival of winter-run Chinook salmon, coho salmon, steelhead, cutthroat and rainbow trout, the foothill yellow-legged frog, the western pond turtle, deer and other species that are native to California’s rich biodiversity.

“Our cannabis enforcement program in Redding continues to focus on critical habitat found in Trinity County where many important, threatened or endangered species call home,” said David Bess, Deputy Director and Chief of the CDFW Law Enforcement Division. “Each of the targeted grows had numerous environmental violations ranging from water diversions to habitat destruction and in some cases extreme pollution near waterways.”

In Trinity County, 27 suspects were contacted, 16 Fish and Game Code violations were documented, 33,783 illegal cannabis plants were eradicated and over 3,000 pounds of illegally produced cannabis product was confiscated. In Shasta County, wildlife officers arrested two suspects in a trespass cannabis grow near Ono where 1,163 cannabis plants were eradicated, and six environmental violations were documented. Felony charges are pending with both counties’ District Attorney’s Offices.

CDFW encourages the public to report illegal cannabis cultivation and environmental crimes such as water pollution, water diversions and poaching to the CalTIP hotline by calling (888) 334-2258 or texting information to “TIP411” (847411).

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Media Contact:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 207-7891