Santa Cruz County Authorities Cite Concerns With Outdoor Marijuana Plantations
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Santa Cruz County Authorities Cite Concerns With Outdoor Marijuana Plantations

A rise in outdoor marijuana plantations in the county has sparked concerns about environmental degradation and fire hazards, according to county code enforcement officers and firefighters.

While marijuana grows are nothing new in the Santa Cruz Mountains, officials have found more properties in the past year where trees have been cut down and left in the woods to clear space for a grow.

“They’re creating a huge fire hazard in leaving those there,” said Cal Fire Division Chief Rich Sampson. “Often, they’re camping there. So the chance of fire is greatly increased.”

Sampson added that it was a waste of lumber. A 36-inch diameter Douglas fir contains more than 1,000 board feet of wood, he said.

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