Yurok Tribe launches operation to rid reservation of marijuana

Operation Yurok continues for the fourth year in a row to target illegal marijuana grows on the Yurok Reservation in northern California. Photo from Yurok Tribe / Facebook

The Yurok Tribe of California is sending a strong message to people who use the reservation to grow marijuana.

In conjunction with federal, state and local authorities, tribal police are serving search warrants at marijuana operations on the reservation. It's the fourth year in a row that "Operation Yurok" has gone after illegal grows.

“We are targeting the illegal grows that pose the biggest threat to our community,” Chairman Thomas P. O’Rourke Sr. said in a press release. “We will not be idle, while these growers damage our natural resources, water supplies and way of life.”

Prior efforts have seen significant seizures -- 55,000 marijuana plants in 2015 and nearly 13,000 plants in 2014, according to the tribe's accounts. Officials believe growers are coming to the reservation due to limited law enforcement.

The result has been an environmental catastrophe. The tribe blames low runs of salmon on the "millions of gallons of water" diverted by the illegal growers. In 2013, one community nearly ran out of water.

Fertilizers, along with large amounts of trash and debris left by the growers, also contribute to environmental problems on the reservation.

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Yurok Tribe blames low fish runs on water used by marijuana farms (05/06)
Yurok Tribe welcomes raid of marijuana farms on reservation (07/15)
Yurok Tribe wraps up marijuana raids with nearly 13K plants (07/30)
Yurok Tribe combats illegal marijuana farms on reservation (07/22)
Yurok Tribe reports large seizures of marijuana on reservation (10/04)