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State and federal law enforcement agencies expect marijuana farms in southern Utah to remain a problem during the upcoming growing season.

The U.S. Attorney's Office, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and local police will highlight Thursday several cases involving thousands of marijuana plants found growing on public lands in Washington County last summer.

Officers will discuss how the public can help with the investigations.

In August, Drug Enforcement Administration officials removed 450 plants in an area where about 1,000 plants had already been harvested.

Washington County police officials say about 12 to 14 pot farm busts across the region last year netted about 20,000 plants.

Police say the operations may be linked to widespread drug trafficking organizations.