Increased law enforcement patrolling corps-managed lands


RACHEL SUN | Daily Evergreen File

Granite Point, also known as “the cliffs” on the Snake River is a popular summer hangout for college-aged students.

JACOB MOORE, Former Evergreen sports editor

Law enforcement has increased at popular river locations in anticipation of Labor Day. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and WSU, among other law enforcement agencies, teamed up to ensure safety, according to a news release by the corps.

College-aged students have taken the corps staff by surprise in the past.

The Illia Dunes was shut down in 2012, mainly due to trash and broken glass left behind from nearly 3,000 people. The area was closed again almost two years later for the same reason. Excessive amounts of human waste also played a part in the 2014 closure.

The increased law enforcement presence this year is meant to combat any safety concerns that could arise. However, it has not been an issue since the start of the fall semester at WSU, said Sara Jones, park ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“Visitors have responded well to the additional uniformed enforcement staff at our areas of responsibility,” Jones said, “and so far, we haven’t experienced any incidents which would require us to shut down an area.”

While the area has been used for recreational purposes, the corps reminds visitors that the dunes “is not a designated recreation area.” To maintain wildlife habitat, rangers ask that everyone follow the rules in place.

Another area overseen by the corps is Granite Point. Rangers consistently reiterate that cliff jumping is against the rules at Granite Point and other managed areas. Death or severe injury has resulted from cliff jumping in the past.

Alcohol is not currently banned at the dunes or Granite Point. However, the corps could put a ban in place if necessary. Though marijuana is legal in the state of Washington, the drug is banned on corps-managed lands.

Reporting by Jacob Moore