HIDDEN WAR: How Special Operations Game Wardens are Reclaiming America’s Wildlands from the Drug Cartels



Lake Forest, IL; February 15, 2019 – Hidden War: How Special Operations Game Wardens are Reclaiming America’s Wildlands from the Drug Cartels, exposes an astounding yet under-reported nationwide environmental emergency.

In Hidden War, author Lt. John Nores, Jr., recently retired after a 28-year career as a game warden with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, recaps the state’s aggressive campaign to eliminate Mexican drug cartels’ black-market trespass marijuana grow operations. Nores co-developed his department’s Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET), made up of 12 elite wildlife officers and K9s dedicated to stopping the destruction of U.S. wildlands, wildlife and waterways.

 “There are thousands of these grow sites throughout America,” Nores explains. “They’re not only in our remote and pristine public lands, but also within a stone’s throw of homes and schools in urban communities like California’s Silicon Valley. What’s going on out there is surreal; it’s like the Wild West with gunfights, foot chases, and cartel gunmen arrests on a daily basis. And it’s all happening within our nation’s borders.”

Hidden War describes the challenges in developing the MET, highlighting the team’s successes throughout their first six years of operations, as described in vivid mission accounts. From 2013 through 2018, the team arrested 912 armed cartel felons, destroyed nearly 3 million toxically tainted marijuana plants, and removed 705 illegal dams that were diverting and stealing millions of gallons of water from streams and lakes during the peak of the worst drought in California history. The MET restored hundreds of grow complexes, removing tons of grower waste, fertilizer, pesticides, EPA-banned toxins and more than 400 miles of plastic irrigation pipe.

 “Despite our efforts, new grow sites are added every year, and we can’t handle this problem alone,” Nores says.

 By enlisting the help of conservation groups and the legitimate cannabis industry, Nores demonstrates how this non-partisan issue must be addressed nationwide. Cartel-run grow sites have been found on 72 National Forests in in 21 other states, with these same cartel groups responsible for human trafficking, gun running, methamphetamine and synthetic heroin production, and other atrocious crimes.

 The 256-page hardcover Hidden War (ISBN 9781946267610) is published by Caribou Media Group. The book is available through all major and specialty booksellers for $24.99. View the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ9KgozZKEs&feature=youtu.be


John’s Website | http://www.johnnores.com

“Hidden War” is a riveting expose of the egregious environmental catastrophe caused by the drug cartels producing black market marijuana. John Nores documents the unsung heroes who risk their lives to take on these well-armed vicious groups.”

LtCol Oliver North USMC (Ret.)

 “If you think we aren’t facing real, serious, threats to our natural resources from illicit drugs and human trafficking, you need to read HIDDEN WAR. It reads like the mission debrief from an action adventure novel, but it’s not. HIDDEN WAR is the real, first-person story of battles being fought every day to save our wild lands from the ravages of criminals who don’t give a damn about the land, the animals..or us.”

Jim Shepherd, Publisher/Founder, The Outdoor Wire

"Chances are anyone who has spent appreciable time in the vast reaches of America’s national parks, national forests, or other wild lands has at one time or another come across either an active marijuana operation or vestiges of where one had been. From the mist-laden haze of the Great Smokies to the Ozarks of the heartland, from remote reaches of New England to California, cannabis cultivation has reached epidemic proportions. That’s a travesty, a threat to the natural world we hold sacred, and a mind-boggling intrusion into our country by drug cartels. In this carefully documented and well-written book, we get a microcosmic view of this appalling situation as it exists in California and what the “thin green line” of wildlands law enforcement is doing to combat it. For those who care about the good earth and harbor deep respect for the legacy of icons such as Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir, this book is at once a clarion call for continued action and an eye-opening “must read.”

" The timing on this is extraordinary! With the debate about border security, the effect of poison marijuana, and the national debate over both should bring a lot of controversy and publicity for this project."

                                                                                                            Luisha Teish, best-selling author

" In the tradition of such courageous and legendary muckrakers as Upton Sinclair and Rachel Carson,  Lt. John Nores exposes the story of illegal marijuana cultivation by the powerful drug cartels and its catastrophic effects it is having on the environment. This gripping and incredibly researched page-turner of a novel is a must read for anyone concerned about the survival of our planet. 

                                                                                Tom Greene -- Writer/producer of "Swamp Thing," and "Magnum PI"/director/outdoor sportsman