UKIAH, Calif. (AP) — Law enforcement officials say they have struck a major blow against illegal marijuana cultivation on public lands in the heart of Northern California pot country.
U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said Friday the two-week operation to purge the Mendocino National Forest of illicit pot gardens has uprooted 460,000 pot plants and led to more than 100 arrests.
The 900,000-acre forest — larger than Rhode Island — spans six counties in a region of mountains and forests known as the Emerald Triangle for its high concentration of pot farms.
Authorities say agents raided more than 50 gardens teeming with irrigation pipes and chemicals that damage forestland and waterways.
The operation is part of an annual summer effort to eradicate marijuana from public lands across the state.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)