An LAist report on a pair of pot plantations discovered in the Santa Monica Mountains underscores concerns we raised this morning

about the shutting down of state parks because of budget cuts. While

not every park is set in the middle of a wilderness, it's unknown as to

which parks will be closed due to an $8 million cut in the system's

funding — and what, if any, security measures will be taken to protect

the closed parks. Marijuana farmers have flourished in California's

more rugged canyons and mountains — while dumping chemicals into the

earth and spreading the risk of fire through farmer campsites. (Talk

about Up in Smoke.)

As LAist's Zac Behrens also notes about pot-growing in the wilds as it relates to cougars: “The plantations decrease the already small range the lions live within and disrupts the natural habitat with soil disturbance, natural vegetation removal and the introduction of potentially harmful chemicals into the local ecosystem.” On Tuesday local and federal law enforcement agencies removed a total of about 3,500 plants from sites in Malibu Creek State Park and Zuma Canyon, which belongs to the national parks system.

LA Weekly