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Wildlife Officials Clean Up Illegal Marijuana Grows

Courtesy of California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Photo from a past raid conducted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Courtesy of California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

This week, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is staging its annual clean-up of illegal marijuana growing operations in far northern California.

Crews have hiked two miles or more into the wilds of Trinity County to dismantle six illegal "grows."

CDFW Warden Patrick Foy says the grows are operated by members of the international drug trade.

He says they've left behind months-worth of human waste, garbage and toxic chemicals. The clean-up involves a lot of heavy, dirty lifting.

"Scooping up all of the garbage, all of the irrigation pipeline, all of the fertilizer bags -- we try to process all of the hazardous chemicals separately," says Foy. "And we bundle it all up in the giant nets, up to five thousand pounds at a time, and the California Air National Guard helicopter comes in and lowers us a big winch cable which we literally hook up to this giant net, and they haul it away."

Foy says the clean-up is a joint effort of the CDFW, Trinity County and the California Air National Guard.

Foy appeared on Insight with Beth Ruyak.