The following is a press release issued by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW):
On June 7, 2023, wildlife officers with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) served three search warrants in the 5900 block of Bell Springs Road in Laytonville.
Support was provided by a CDFW Environmental Scientist, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force and the State Water Resources Control Board.
Prior to serving the search warrants, a thorough records check was conducted on the properties to determine what steps may have been taken to secure a county permit or state license. In this case, no permit or state license on the sites to cultivate commercial cannabis were obtained.
The sites were located on Twin Rocks Creek and its tributaries, in the Rattlesnake Creek Watershed. CDFW has documented many species of concern in this watershed including coho salmon, Chinook salmon, steelhead, pacific lamprey, red-bellied newt and foothill yellow legged frog.
Several environmental violations and impacts were observed on the sites, which included:
– Two water diversions on a tributary to Twin Rocks Creek
– Five hoop houses constructed directly within streams, which were graded to accommodate the operation’s buildings
– Remnants of a landslide, caused by poor road design and maintenance, delivering sediment into a stream
– Unpermitted and improperly installed stream crossings constricting stream channels and delivering sediment
Over 5,900 illegal cannabis plants were eradicated. This is an on-going investigation. No other information is available at this time.