The U.S. Forest Service is asking campers to be respectful of other visitors and pick up their trash after finding trash strewn across camping sites at Detroit Lake in Willamette National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service posted photos of the trash on Facebook on Monday and asked campers to "please dispose of your waste properly and be considerate of other visitors."

By Tuesday morning, the post had been shared almost 1,300 times and nearly 200 comments had been left, many expressing anger at the persons responsible for making the mess.

Willamette National Forest spokesperson Jude McHugh said the trash dumping incident happened last week, but was not located by rangers and forest service staff until Friday, July 19.

The trash has since been cleaned up, McHugh said.

This kind of trash dumping is "a relatively common occurrence" in the Willamette National Forest, McHugh said. She had harsh words for the individuals who leave trash behind.

"They have come to my house and to your house and left in their wake the things that they did not want and that is simply unacceptable," McHugh said. "They have come to this common land that we all share and left behind their garbage. Who are they to think that is their right and privilege?"

McHugh said the people who leave trash behind are a "subset of an otherwise good group of campers," and these kind of trash dumps more commonly happen at less-developed sites and at day-use sites.

McHugh said the Forest Service works with law enforcement to investigate cases like these. Offenders who are caught are ticketed and fined.

This particular case of trash dumping at Detroit Lake is currently under investigation.

Some commenters on Facebook questioned whether the mess was the result of animals getting into trash cans that had not been emptied.

McHugh said that although animals do spread junk and trash around sometimes, it is only when people leave behind the huge, unsecured quantities of trash that photos like this are released.

Earlier this summer, the Three Pools Campground east of Salem was also a victim of trash dumping.

A pickup truck full of trash picked up by park rangers and staff at Three Pools Campground east of Salem.
Bags of trash from a trash dump pickup by park rangers and staff at Three Pools Campground east of Salem.

There will be a clean-up day at Detroit Lake on Saturday, Sept. 24.