was invited to tour a marijuana grow site that was busted last week in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
are facing federal drug charges. They were in court today.
All of them
pleaded not guilty, each facing ten years in prison.
them are accused of being in the United States illegally.
starts with a strenuous hike through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National
Forest. About one mile away from the closest
paved road—a grow site.
where more than 8,000 marijuana plants were removed last week.
growers are here, they're living on site. Lots of garbage left behind from day
to day living," U.S. Forest Service PR Officer Suzanne Flory said.
officials have to clean up.
huge job. It could take days to haul all the garbage out of here," Flory said.
say grow sites usually have may dug up holes in a clearing.
remote, easy to get away from people and not be found," Flory said.
last three summers, marijuana grow sites have been found in that forest. But
this year's are a little more spread out.
"The sites are smaller, although there are more of them, much more secluded,"
District Forest Ranger Jeff Seefeldt said.
why officials say growers choose these locations. Police were able to bust this
site because of a tip from a fisherman.
gets our here a lot more than we get out here and so whatever information they
can give us is incredible important," Seefeldt said.
Forest leaders say the clean-up costs are tied back to tax payers
because it's all public land.
say it's hard to put a price on how much the clean-up costs—but that it takes
forest officials away from their other responsibilities.