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No Respect for Nature

Look at this picture. Doesn't this spot look inviting? The picture above was taken at Estacada Lake.

Would you believe that just down from where the picture was shot litter lined the bank on the Estacada city side? What is it with people who have no respect for the natural beauty that surrounds them? I fished a beer can out of the lake. Unfortunately, I couldn't retrieve the litter that clung to the bank because the trash was too high up on the steep bank. Some of the litter I spotted included a busted picnic table, boxes, plastic jugs, rags, seat cushions, and numerous beer cans.

It really chaps my hide that people have no respect for nature or for other people who use the lakes and rivers around Oregon and that they callously litter. Oregon is a beautiful state with picturesque rivers and lakes that sadly too many people think are their personal trash cans in which to toss their beer cans and other debris.

I have paddled the Tualatin River many times and spotted tires, televisions, shopping carts, bicycles, washing machines, and other large items along the banks. The same holds true on the Willamette River, and I am sure it’s probably the case on other rivers in Oregon as well. Fortunately, there are river clean-ups on the Willamette and Tualatin each fall, but too many other lakes and rivers are left at the mercy of caring individuals to retrieve the litter they spot lying along the banks or in the water.

I think some of the biggest culprits in the littering of Oregon’s lakes and rivers are fishermen. I enjoy fishing myself and have many times gone to Hagg Lake to do some fishing and seen litter strewn along the banks, mostly beer bottles and cans and cigarette butts, and I know the litter has been left there by fishermen.

Is alcohol to blame for this selfish attitude? Is it laziness? Or were these litterbugs not properly raised by their parents?

What should be done with people caught littering our waterways? And how do we go about catching them in the act? If boaters are at fault, perhaps they should have their boating registration pulled for two years. Perhaps fishermen shouldn’t be allowed to purchase a fishing license for a year. Maybe homeowners along the bank should be fined heavily if they dump litter down the bank behind their house. One thing they all should have to do is community service by keeping the banks clean for a year. What do you think?


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