The National Park Service on Wednesday announced it raided an illegal marijuana grow operation in Death Valley National Park.
According to a press release, the plants were discovered after hikers encountered men installing an irrigation hose. The hikers asked what they were doing and one man responded, "Growing marijuana. You won't tell the cops, will you?"
Apparently they did, as the grow near a spring in Hanaupah Canyon was discovered soon after. The site was raided on July 3 and 4,000 plants were found.
“Even though California and Nevada have passed laws legalizing marijuana sale, it remains illegal at the federal level," said superintendent Mike Reynolds. "Our biggest concerns in Death Valley are that grow sites decimate vegetation around springs, poison wildlife, and are dangerous for the public.”
Officials said the the workers had cleared crops necessary to the ecosystem to make room for the crops. Each plant can use up to six gallons of water per day, they said.
The National Park Service urged hikers spotting equipment used for marijuana grows to contact authorities.
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