Forest Service buys flying drones to help find marijuana growers...

By silenius · Apr 5, 2008 · Updated Apr 5, 2008 · ·
  1. silenius
    By MATTHEW BROWN Associated Press Writer BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) The U.S. Forest Service has purchased a pair of flying drones to track down marijuana cultivators operating in remote California woodlands.

    Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey, who oversees the Forest Service, tells The Associated Press the pilotless aircraft will allow agency law enforcement officers to pinpoint marijuana fields and size up potential dangers before agents make arrests.

    Rey says there is an increasing number of marijuana growers financed by Mexican drug cartels who are using California's national forests to stage their operations.

    The SkySeer drones cost $100,000 each and weigh only four pounds. They were delivered to the Forest Service's aviation branch in Montana before being shipped to California.

    One of the drones is equipped with a thermal camera for nighttime flights.


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  1. RaverHippie
    Amazing use of funds for the protection of national forests...
  2. Alfa
  3. old hippie 56
    Be handy for looking for wildfires, since they don't allow timber harvesting like they use to.
  4. RaverHippie
    I always found the studies interesting which showed that forests which naturally and seasonally catch fire end up healthier years down the road, than prior to the fire.
  5. TMM
    That's exactly what those forests don't need.

  6. 0utrider
    AW: Forest Service buys flying drones to help find marijuana growers...

    VERY intersting. SWIM would love to destroy one of these..
  7. RaverHippie
    Re: AW: Forest Service buys flying drones to help find marijuana growers...

    $100,000 clay pigeon anyone?
  8. Expat98
    Look for these types of small unmanned drones to become more and more common and to be used for all kinds of surveillance. The Pentagon is striving toward a major expansion in the use of non-traditional air power, and this is a very active area of funding and research. This will bleed over and find uses in law enforcement as well as the military.

    On a related (and bizarre) note, there was an article a few days ago about DARPA's Hybrid Insect Micro-Mechanical Systems (HI-MEMS) program. From the article:

    The full article is here (you have to scroll down a little to get to it):
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