LAKE SHASTA (CBS13) — A once picturesque vacation spot was thrashed allegedly by students from the University of Oregon.
The school has launched an investigation into what happened at Shasta Lake over the weekend.
The mess isn’t just against the school’s code of conduct, but it could come with some far reaching legal implications. It’s illegal to abandon property in a national forest, and now the hunt is on to find out who did it.
The typically pristine summer hot spot was trashed with busted up tents, sleeping bags and beer bottles.
The U.S. Forest Service says the evidence, including a cooler from Lambda Chi, points squarely at student culprits.
“We’re hoping to make contact with these folks and do a little bit of education,” said spokeswoman Phyllis Swanson.
Authorities say about 1,000 University of Oregon students packed Slaughterhouse Island with more than 60 house and patio boats over the weekend. They believe it may have been an unsanctioned fraternity and sorority trip that went too far.
“It’s sort of hard to understand why it was left,” Swanson said. “There is a lot of stuff here left that the wildlife shouldn’t be getting into.”
In a statement, the University of Oregon called the incident “disgraceful,” saying “The university is investigating the situation and will take action as appropriate. We are working with authorities to learn all we can and determine who is responsible.”
Since the incident, the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity has suspended all of its chapters’ activities. A statement was posted to the Lambda Chi Facebook page that reads in part, “On behalf of any of our members involved, the UO (Lambda Chi) chapter would like to extend our deepest apologies for any destruction of Lake Shasta resort and the surrounding environment.”
The Forest Service says it may not have all the trash cleared before the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.