Be sure to look closely when taking in the flora on a hike in Southeast Dallas. (Photo courtesy of the Dallas Police Department)

Police helicopters: They aren’t just for car chases anymore.

On Oct. 13, Air One, Dallas Police Department’s (DPD) chopper, discovered a cash crop growing in the middle of the Great Trinity Forest. The helicopter found a marijauna grow operation “in a remote area of Southeast Dallas,” according to DPD. They found 179 pounds of Mary Jane, which is “set for destruction.” The press release was not clear on how it would be “destroyed.”

There were no suspects found at the operation, and no arrests were made.

The irony, though, is not lost. The powers-that-be in Dallas are fine with folks making money by cutting down the Great Trinity Forest, as long as it is a golf course or a horse park. Walking on the trail near the Trinity River Audubon Center can be pretty depressing when across the street what used to be wild forest was obliterated for manicured, chemically enhanced fairways and greens. Developers will tell you the course is built on a dump, which may be partly true. It is also built on large swaths of forest, environmentally sensitive ponds and animal habitats.

Cutting down one of the largest urban forests in the country is wrong, whether it is for corrals or cannabis, but it says a lot about the city when one form of clear cutting gets the police chopper and another gets the Mayor’s blessing.