Oswald West State Park is a favorite of visitors, especially now with so many people traveling. The impact of increased visitation, coupled with reduced State Park staffing and budgets, have created a perfect storm of excess trash and bad behavior that threatens our parks’ beauty. Please read this firsthand account from Julie Chick who cataloged some of what she witnessed at Oswald West after a hot, busy weekend at the coast. When you have, please remember that when you visit our parks you have a duty to leave them better than how you found them:
“I wanted to get a first hand look at Short Sands after a day like yesterday (Saturday August 15th), so I headed up at 6:15am this morning, August 16th.
Here is what I noted:
• The upper bathrooms were open but only 2 of the 3 toilets in the women’s were working. I did not bother to look into the men’s, I’d seen enough! Messy, gross.
• I counted 12 not-so-elusive TP “flowers” (toilet paper piles) with varying decomposition of human waste with them between the south parking lot and the beach along Necarney Creek Trail! I counted more going up through the old campground but was satisfied it is simply TOO MUCH!
• The beach was reasonably clean and not busy yet.
• The lower bathrooms are still closed. I talked to Ranger Brian who was, at 7:15am, trying to fix the water so the drinking fountain and toilets would work. He says he spends most of his time cleaning bathrooms and picking up trash which leaves very little time for other Ranger activities. He was NOT complaining, he was SO NICE and wonderful. I want to help him! We need to help them!
• The photo of the garbage is Saturday’s haul. Bless these Rangers!
• While we were talking, a surfer came up to get water because he did not know there was none. Fortunately, they accomplished that in the storage room. Brian was trying to get the fountain to work by end of day today.
• The parking lots are really messy and could use a big organized cleanup.
• Oregon State Police now monitors the parking between Hug Point and Os West from 12pm – 4pm. I didn’t catch if that is weekends only or every day.
• There were 30 cars on Neah-Kah-Nie mountain at 6:30AM and 3/4 of them looked to be overnighters. Some under No Parking signs, and many in the last south pullout with no sign.”
NOTE: This story was published in the Tillamook Conty Pioneer on Aug. 18, 2020. Read it in its entirety at https://www.tillamookcountypioneer.net/short-sands-oswald-west-state-park-the-morning-after-takingbackourparks-solutions-for-curbing-visitor-invasion-call-to-action-email-to-travel-oregon-oregon-coast-visitors-association-visi/