By MICHAEL GERSTEIN
Capital News Service
LANSING – Drug traffickers have been conducting business deep within the lush canopy of Michigan’s forests since at least 2008. But after five years of eradication efforts, law enforcement agencies say the problem is showing no signs of going away. The Hiawatha National Forest website flashes a brief message in the corner of the screen: “Keep safe: Marijuana grow sites. Be observant.” There’s a short description of trafficking campsites, and a request that forest users report suspicious activity. Hiawatha National Forest Supervisor Jo Reyer said that “while it’s unlikely visitors will come across this kind of activity, we also want to make sure that hunters, hikers, campers and other recreationists know how to stay safe.”
Detective Lt. David Peltomaa, who oversaw the State Police marijuana eradication program for 10 years before being reassigned to his current post in Ann Arbor, said he suspects that less than half of the operations are discovered.