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Rangers find marijuana grow in Death Valley National Park

The National Parks Service provided this photograph of an illegal marijuana growing operation...
The National Parks Service provided this photograph of an illegal marijuana growing operation in the Jail Canyon area of Death Valley.(National Parks Service)
Published: May. 1, 2021 at 10:06 AM PDT
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DEATH VALLEY, Calif. (AP) - Federal park rangers have discovered a large illegal marijuana grow in Death Valley National Park near the border between California and Nevada.

Authorities say Friday that the 40-acre grow was found in Jail Canyon, a rarely visited canyon on the western side of the Panamint Mountains.

The illegal grow is one of hundreds that authorities have found in Death Valley over the last decade.

Marijuana grow sites can damage or destroy parts of the national park. While California legalized marijuana in 2016, it remains prohibited on federal lands. Death Valley National Park is roughly 200 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe’s reservation is within the park.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

“Preserving natural and cultural resources while providing an opportunity for the public to enjoy amazing places is at the core of our mission. Seeing irreparable damage to a fragile ecosystem rich with rare natural and cultural resources is devastating.”

Rob Wissinger, chief ranger at Death Valley National Park