Visitors flock to Bass Lake, leave mounds of trash behind

Residents are trying to educate visitors to keep Bass Lake clean, and the Madera County Sheriff's Office has rented dumpsters, portable restrooms, and handwashing stations.
BASS LAKE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Nate Nielsen is on a mission to keep his home of Bass Lake clean.

"I'm just offering free garbage bags for the day for anyone who wants one," he says.

The local is going up to groups of visitors and giving them trash bags so they don't litter.

Dumpsters were removed from picnic areas after they were closed down due to the pandemic.

Pictures taken last weekend show how extensive the problem has gotten.

"It has been a recurring thing, we pick up an area and usually one or two days later it is full of trash again," Nielsen says.

Nielsen says his encounters are mostly positive and people are grateful, but occasionally he'll get a different kind of reaction.

"Some people are definitely not into it, they don't want you coming up and bothering them, they don't want your garbage bag and they have some colorful words they want to use."

To help alleviate the issue, the Madera County Sheriff's Office has rented dumpsters, portable restrooms, and handwashing stations.

Deputy Sarah Jackson says the trash bags given to visitors are helpful, but some people don't dispose of them properly, resulting in a big mess.

"What often happens is the trash bags get left out and then the crows come and open them up and scatter the trash everywhere again."

Nielsen says he also educates people by letting them know where dumpsters are located and is hopeful they will get moved closer to the picnic area.

Until then, he'll continue in his efforts to keep his community clean.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.