Investigators estimate the value of the illegal marijuana grow discovered by a hiker in the Huckleberry Hills area northwest of Rye at $7 million. It is the second largest illegal grow busted in Pueblo County and the fifth found in fields on or near the San Isabel National Forest in the past five years.
The Denver Post spoke with Sheriff Kirk Taylor about the illegal operation’s effect on the local environment:
“These grows are not indigenous to Colorado and the water and fertilizers required for these grow operations represent a clear environmental hazard for our beautiful Colorado mountains. We certainly appreciate and encourage anyone who is out enjoying our mountains and sees something that they think is suspicious, to report it.”
Around 2,000 marijuana plants were found in an upper field of plants and another 5,400 in a lower field. There was also evidence of a small camp with cook stoves, food containers and blankets indicating to the police that people had been living in the area. No suspects have been arrested.
[images from PuebloCountySO twitter]