To augment the District’s management of its fee land properties, we rely upon volunteer patrollers to be our “eyes and ears” on the land, reporting on items such as trespassers, vehicle use, gates left open, weeds, erosion, and suspected cannabis farm-related activity. We hold roughly two volunteer patrol trainings a year at Calabazas Creek Open Space Preserve, and the latest was on July 21, 2016. At the patrollers’ request, we developed two waivers for this property – one is a standard waiver and the other allows them to patrol when an active cannabis grow has been found. Calabazas has a protocol that limits volunteer access if a big grow has been discovered; however, volunteers wanted to be allowed access even if a big grow is discovered to discourage the activity. The additional waiver allows them to do that.
Our volunteer patrollers play an extremely important role in helping the District manage and maintain its fee properties as they are able to get out on the properties much more frequently that our staff. In fact, in FY 15/16, there were 109 volunteer visits in 55 separate trips for over 300 hours of volunteer hours. And we believe that folks patrol more often than they report. Our volunteers are responsible for finding most of the nine known cannabis grow sites on Calabazas and removing 90 cubic feet of pot growing infrastructure alone, along with other miscellaneous litter. The growing infrastructure includes irrigation line, propane tanks, stoves, pots, pans, and sleeping bags. The District has not discovered a new large grow site in over three years, we believe, in large part because of the efforts of volunteers helping to provide a presence on the land and helping us post signs in trouble areas.
Contact: Sheri Emerson, (707) 565-7351