The Daily Evergreen

Granite Point closed due to weekend littering

Large amounts of garbage, including broken glass, led to closure

Granite+Point%2C+also+known+as+%22the+cliffs%22+on+the+Snake+River+is+a+popular+summer+hangout+for+college-aged+students.
Granite Point, also known as

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

RACHEL SUN | Daily Evergreen File

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.

IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has closed Granite Point, also known as the Cliffs among WSU students, due to safety concerns following a weekend of heavy traffic.

More than 300 people visited the popular swimming and partying destination on the Snake River last Friday, according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers news release. Officials found large amounts of trash, including broken bottles, beer cans and other items in the following days.

“I have never seen anything like this—the vandalism, garbage everywhere—that isn’t something I could have ever imagined,” Jason Achziger, Lower Granite natural resource manager, said in the release. “It’s an absolute shame.”

The Army Corps of Engineers removed about 800 pounds of trash from the area in their initial clean up efforts, according to the news release. In addition to the trash, visitors also vandalized the landmark and surrounding areas with graffiti.

The Corps also issued citations to 14 WSU students today after the students, carrying beer, walked past no trespassing signs and a maintenance worker putting up a barricade, Gina Baltrusch, Army Corps Walla Walla District public affairs specialist, said.

While many people use the area for recreation, the Corps manages Granite Point as a nature area. Officials have not set a date for the reopening of the Corps-owned land, but Natural Resources Management staff have begun developing a plan to complete cleanup efforts and to manage the area to avoid future incidents of this nature, according to the release.

ASWSU President Jordan Frost reacted to the closure shortly after the news broke on Twitter, relating it the closure of Martin Stadium following littering concerns.

“Same as the stadium issue,” he tweeted. “This is simply unacceptable and quite frankly embarrassing. Doesn’t matter who did it, we should all be ashamed that we treat such a beloved resource so poorly. Step up Cougs, we can do better.”

The Corps also warned visitors against bringing fireworks and glass to both Granite Point and Illia Dunes, according to their safety fact sheet.

 

About the Writer
IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

Ian Smay is a senior journalism & media production major, with an emphasis in broadcast news, from Dayton, Washington. He is also minoring in criminal...

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Granite Point closed due to weekend littering