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Yurok Tribe updates Board of Supervisors on ‘Operation Yurok’

EUREKA- Members of the Yurok Tribe came before the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors Tuesday detailing their efforts in Operation Yurok.

The tribe worked this summer to eradicate large-scale, illegal marijuana grows within the reservation’s jurisdiction.

At the meeting, the Yurok Tribe’s Executive Director Troy Fletcher showed photos of the grow sites tribal law enforcement teams encountered and the environmental hazards housed at those sites. According to the tribe, illegal grows are cutting off water from the Klamath River and contaminating local drinking water with pesticide and fertilizer runoff.

Many of those grows are being operated on fee land being rented out. Although members of the tribe may not occupy the land, it is still under the Yurok’s jurisdiction

The tribe says that it has a zero tolerance policy on illegal substances within its jurisdiction. Additionally, the Yurok Tribe does not recognize or permit Proposition 215 grows on reservation property and will begin attempting to take land from those who violate the tribe’s illegal substance ordinance.

“Large-scale marijuana grows and the activities that are happening on our reservation, people are protecting and preventing, protecting their grow sites I guess preventing tribal members and their families from accessing some ceremonial, cultural areas, some gathering spots and things of that nature threatening them with guns and other things,” Fletcher said. “That’s not appropriate and that's not okay. That threatens the health of our community, the safety of our community.”

The tribe asked the Board of Supervisors to continue open dialogue between the two governing bodies and to work together in combating illegal marijuana grows.