Kittitas County Sheriff's deputies seized 4,450 marijuana plants with a street value of approximately $2 million.

The Sheriff's Office said they believe the marijuana was part of an illegal drug trafficking operation.

Though Washington has legalized the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, law enforcement is obligated to act against these operations, as they violate both federal and state Law, posing physical and environmental dangers to our community, Kittitas County Undersheriff Myers said.

Along with the pot, deputies removed a sawed-off shotgun and 660 pounds of trash, chemicals, irrigation lines, camp equipment, tools and food.

One of the under-reported impacts of these operations is the negative impacts on the environment, said Myers. Green trees are cut down, natural vegetation is removed and the ground is terraced, which results in extensive erosion after the grow is abandoned. The streams are dug out and re-routed for irrigation systems and the chemicals and fertilizers are run right into the streams and springs.

The grow was reported by an Ellensburg couple who found the plants while hiking.

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