College Students Could Face Disciplinary Action After Trashing Shasta Lake

Photo via the U.S. Forest Service

Some students from the University of California, Davis could face disciplinary action after leaving behind a significant amount of trash and debris at Lake Shasta following Memorial Day weekend parties, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Forest Service officials reported that it took six hours and 17 trash bags to clear the mess left by approximately 3,000 students from both UC Davis and the University of Oregon. The students are accused of littering the beaches and surrounding areas of the popular lake with cups, drink cans, pool floats, and other items, despite being asked to clean up after themselves.

Deborah Carlisi, a detailed recreation staff officer for Shasta-Trinity National Forest, stated that staff had provided trash bags and requested that the students pack out whatever they brought in.

“Some students used them. Some students didn’t,” Carlisi said. She noted that the worst part is the trash that has sunk to the bottom of the lake, which cannot be cleaned up until water levels drop later in the summer.

“What was left behind in the lake could be damaging to our fish and wildlife, which is a big problem. If a deer goes down to the water and eats a plastic wrapper that would make them sick.”

Due to the rocky beaches and hazardous conditions, officials have to wait until water levels are lower and it is safe to remove the remaining plastic and pollution from the lake.

Photo via the U.S. Forest Service

The Forest Service reached out to both universities to inform them of the situation. In response, UC Davis released a statement expressing their disappointment and indicating that they are exploring ways to work with students to help restore the site or otherwise address the situation. The university is still assessing information from the Forest Service.

“The university was disappointed to learn of this conduct and is exploring ways of working with students to help restore the site or otherwise address the situation. We are still assessing information from the Forest Service. Students are expected to comply with all laws, and failure to do so may result in discipline under the university policy on student conduct. Student visits to Lake Shasta over Memorial Day weekend are not sanctioned or sponsored by the university,” the statement read.

Forest Service officials emphasized the importance of protecting public lands to ensure they remain beautiful and accessible for future generations.

“The Shasta-Trinity Forest is a beautiful forest and it’s up to us to keep it that way. Just care for your land. That’s something all of us should be doing,” Carlisi said.

UC Davis did not specify the type of disciplinary action students might face if their investigation concludes that school policies were violated.

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One Comment

  1. Davis was home for Earth Day events in the early ’80s! It’s sad that the behavior of a few of its students reflects poorly on the school. Those kids need to fix the problem when the lake drops! Yes, it could be hot.

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