The Daily Evergreen

Rangers urge responsibility at Illia Dunes

Dozens+of+people+socializing+and+playing+beer+pong+at+the+Illia+Dunes+on+Monday.+The+shallow+water+and+sandy+beach+is+located+about+50+miles+away+from+WSU%2C+making+the+dunes+a+popular+local+get-away.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Rangers urge responsibility at Illia Dunes

Dozens of people socializing and playing beer pong at the Illia Dunes on Monday. The shallow water and sandy beach is located about 50 miles away from WSU, making the dunes a popular local get-away.

Dozens of people socializing and playing beer pong at the Illia Dunes on Monday. The shallow water and sandy beach is located about 50 miles away from WSU, making the dunes a popular local get-away.

LUKE HOLLISTER | The Daily Evergreen

Dozens of people socializing and playing beer pong at the Illia Dunes on Monday. The shallow water and sandy beach is located about 50 miles away from WSU, making the dunes a popular local get-away.

LUKE HOLLISTER | The Daily Evergreen

LUKE HOLLISTER | The Daily Evergreen

Dozens of people socializing and playing beer pong at the Illia Dunes on Monday. The shallow water and sandy beach is located about 50 miles away from WSU, making the dunes a popular local get-away.

JACOB MOORE, Evergreen recreation editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






There are few places to go around the Palouse to cool off from the scorching summer months. The Illia Dunes, more informally known as just “the dunes,” is included in that compact list.

If you make a trip to the dunes this summer, you’ll likely smell sunscreen and alcohol lingering in the breezy air. Some go to relax, some to drink and some to splash around the water. Others choose all the above.

As long as the dunes is open, it is almost guaranteed that WSU students will drive the 50 or so miles to get there every weekend. The dunes are an obvious summer hot spot. Therefore, taking care of this treasure should be a major priority of anyone who uses it.

After arriving, there is a five-minute walk through the gravel to the scorching sand. As the muffled electronic music nears, mosquitoes and overgrown plants hide the path.

The rules are simple and posted before and after the path so everyone can see them: pets must be on a leash, no glass containers, no open fires and no camping. Most students go to the dunes for just a few hours at a time, so these regulations are easy to follow — most of them, at least.

The rule that park rangers strictly enforce is the policy on glass containers. It’s not uncommon to see multiple tables with red solo cups set up for beer pong or people wandering around with alcohol in their hands. Sara Jones, a park ranger that patrols the dunes, believes the problem occurs when that alcohol is stored in glass bottles.

“The biggest challenge is the amount of trash that is left on the beach after high visitation,” Jones said. “We also encounter many people with glass at the dunes, which is prohibited. There are trash bags and dumpsters available on site, and we encourage everyone to be responsible and pack out all trash.”

One park ranger said he was talking to some students with beer bottles about the importance of the glass container rule. Suddenly, a football landed feet away from where he was standing, shattering the very glass bottle he was lecturing about.

That football made the ranger’s point. Glass bottles that break can harm anyone that unknowingly steps on broken glass. On a sunny day, glass might be easily spotted in the sand, but it’s not so easy when it sits on the clouded river floor. Many who lose items in the water hardly ever find them for this reason.

To keep the dunes from being shut down like it has been multiple times in the past, the community has a responsibility to keep up with the rules.

“When there is a considerable amount of trash and when human waste is on the dunes, it can result in the area being closed down,” Jones said.

Disrespecting the dunes is like disrespecting fellow community members. Not only does trashing the dunes make it look less appealing, there’s a safety hazard posed to anyone who might accidentally step on glass shards. If rule-breaking continues, dune-goers may have to find a different place to play water Frisbee.

“Visitors and their behavior help determine future public use of the area, which is a wildlife habitat management area,” Jones said.

Jones also emphasized that breaking the law instead of breaking the rules would result in more than just a citation.

“The dunes are patrolled by federal and county officers,” Jones said. “All federal, state and local laws apply. It is important to remember that Illia Dunes is federal property, therefore it is not legal to possess or use marijuana or any other illegal drugs.”

If students can follow the straightforward rules and remain safe while at the dunes, Jones is convinced that the dunes will stay open all summer.

“We greatly appreciate [visitors’] responsible use of the dunes and picking up after yourselves so the dunes stay clean and safe for visitors to use all summer long.”

About the Writer
JACOB MOORE, Former Evergreen sports editor

Jacob Moore is a junior sport management major from Tacoma. He graduated in December 2016.

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.

Navigate Left
  • Rangers urge responsibility at Illia Dunes

    Baseball

    WSU on the road at Utah

  • Rangers urge responsibility at Illia Dunes

    Sports

    Rowing goes to Pac-12 Championship

  • Rangers urge responsibility at Illia Dunes

    Baseball

    Baseball looks to extend win streak at home

  • Rangers urge responsibility at Illia Dunes

    Sports

    Cougs compete at conference championships

  • Rangers urge responsibility at Illia Dunes

    Commencement

    Senior’s final swing at WSU

  • Rangers urge responsibility at Illia Dunes

    Baseball

    Cougs host Apple Cup on Friday

  • Rangers urge responsibility at Illia Dunes

    Commencement

    Cougar tennis seniors looks back on time in Pullman

  • Rangers urge responsibility at Illia Dunes

    Co Ed

    Track travels to Arizona for Pac-12 Multi-Events Championship

  • Rangers urge responsibility at Illia Dunes

    Showcase

    Tennis selected to NCAA Tournament for first time since 2012

  • Rangers urge responsibility at Illia Dunes

    Sports

    WSU claims Fawley Cup over Zags

Navigate Right

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Every student. Every story. Every day.
Rangers urge responsibility at Illia Dunes