The inside story of the drug cartels on our public lands – and the game wardens taking them on. Americans may disagree over the legalization of marijuana, but not when it comes to the pot plantations fast turning once-pristine corners of our public lands into environmentally ravaged war zones.  Guarded by armed gangs, who are willing to kill innocent hikers and law enforcement personnel to protect their profits, these illicit wilderness farms pollute and destroy the ecosystems wildlife relies on. Whose jurisdiction is this?  Game wardens, the unsung heroes of our national wild lands, are the first line of defense.   InWar in the Woods, California Game Warden John Nores, Jr. and James Swan recount in riveting detail the perilous job of eradicating pot plantations.  It is a chilling read – and one that finally turns our focus to the issue and the law enforcement teams leading the charge.

John, a California native, grew up in a small town in rural Santa Clara County. The eldest of four, he and his brothers and sister developed a love for nature and the natural environment. He initially began college with the goal of becoming a civil engineer but during winter break of his first semester, he fortuitously met a fish and game warden in the backcountry of Henry Coe State Park on a backpacking trip and was instantly inspired to become one himself.  Inspiration led to a certainty of purpose and as soon as he got back to school, he changed his major to Criminal Justice and began pursuing a career as a fish and game warden for the state of California.

In February of 1992, he was hired by the California Department of Fish and Game and was assigned to Riverside County for the first three years of his career before eventually transferring to his hometown district in Santa Clara County.  He was promoted to squad lieutenant in June 2005.  He is a field training officer for new cadets and conducts training in firearms, defensive tactics, high-risk warrant and arrest tactics as well as basic and advanced sniper training programs with fellow instructors from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. He is also a member of the local allied agency Marijuana Eradication Teams (MET) in Santa Clara and San Benito Counties.

John has a Masters of Science degree from San Jose State University in Criminal Justice Administration (1998) and a Bachelor of Science Degree (1990) from San Jose State University in that same discipline. Outside of work, John’s hobbies and interests are varied. He is an accomplished musician. He sings and plays bass guitar. He likes to challenge himself with training for and competing in Ironman Triathlons.  He enjoys hunting…big game, predator, and varmint. He also enjoys hiking, photography, video production, scuba diving, ATV riding and racing and adventure traveling throughout the world. Since 2002 John and his childhood friends have been motorcycle and ATV adventure riding in Baja, Mexico.  In 2006 John and his riding buddies decided to race in the region and started a fundraising effort for the kids at El Oasis Children’s orphanage in central Baja.  In 2010, J&J Ironman Racing Team was formed, and John and his teammate Jeff Moore each soloed the entire 438 mile Baja 500 course.  John and Jeff completed the ultimate challenge, to solo the Baja 1000 race in November 2011. Very close to John’s heart are his three siblings (the Wolf Pack), his family in Montana and the children at El Oasis Orphanage in Baja, Mexico. Since 2006 his charity fundraising efforts have helped the orphanage provide education, food, clothing, and shelter for all of the kids there.

AUTHORS WEBSITE: http://www.johnnores.com/

NatGeo Wild Justice