Grouse Creek Marijuana Garden Ecological Restoration

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Two marijuana gardens were recently discovered near Grouse Creek in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite National Park Law Enforcement rangers removed 7,500 plants along with irrigation tubing, campsite remains, and garbage. The area is now largely denuded of vegetation with terracing into the slope. Soil erosion potential is high. Ecological restoration is essential in preventing soil erosion and re-establishing natural contours to the land for the regeneration of plant communities to take place. Restoration of the sites will also benefit future law enforcement related issues by discouraging further illegal use of this site.

There are approximately 1,500 holes two foot in diameter that were dug for the planting. The holes are terraced and soil is loosely packed around the outside of the hole. Vegetation within the site was cut and piled around the perimeter of the garden. The following actions are proposed to restore the site to natural conditions:

• Soil would be put back into the hole and contoured to natural conditions
• Brush walls would be pulled back into the interior of the sites after the holes are filled.
• The campsite would be de-compacted, re-contoured, mulched and restored to natural conditions
• All litter would be removed from the site.

After the two gardens are restored to natural conditions, staff will spend several days removing the social trail that was formed by NPS law enforcement and restoration crews accessing the site. Restoration work will take approximately one month. In order to avoid more erosion, work should take place before significant winter precipitation.
Cultural resource staff have no concerns about the project.