Wednesday, November 29, 2023


The camper who did this should be thrown in jail

By Normal Frump

A reader came across this photo and sent it to us. We do not know who took it.

It was taken at a national park campsite. Seeing it makes our staff’s blood boil.

It’s really hard to understand people who toss trash out their car windows, or who feed a bear, which could ultimately result in its death due to becoming people-food dependent and aggressive about getting it. But this is about as bad as it gets.

We can only hope that whoever did this was caught.

Because of that person’s stupidity and lack of respect for nature and other campers, he or she (probably both) has forced everyone who later occupies the campsite to witness this destruction over and over again.

Frankly, the park should cut down the tree. It’s a reminder of the worst side of humanity.

I am sorry to upset you, as I probably have, because I know the readers of this newsletter would never do something like this. But, if you should ever witness someone being so destructive, contact the police or rangers immediately. The violators need to pay a steep fine and if the judge determines, spend a little time behind bars to ponder their ignorant behavior. Oh, this is so depressing!

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jillie (@guest_160651)
1 year ago

I am not sure what park it was but Natl Geographic showed a picture of a rock that was part of a Native American tribe thing and it was defaced. Had four names etched into it. If they try to fix it it will only make things worse. I am like dudes {bleeped}?

Paula Provost (@guest_160413)
1 year ago

This damage took some time to achieve. Where were the people in the other campsites? Did they not see what was going on? By all means, do not approach the offenders and start a fight with them. Stay in your rig and call the rangers or campground host and let them know what is happening. This is beyond disgusting !!

Jeb (@guest_160049)
1 year ago

Cut down the tree? What sense does that make? That is the equivalent of sending the victim to jail for being a victim. Put some pitch over it.

Paula Provost (@guest_160414)
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeb

Agree !!

Grammy T (@guest_160518)
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeb

While I am a “tree lover” I really think this tree should be removed. There will undoubtedly be those who think this is “cool” and will be inclined to carve their initials in other trees – could end up having a ‘domino effect’ in the future. A new tree could be planted in its place.

Kathryn (@guest_160017)
1 year ago

Do NOT cut the tree down. That would just exacerbate the damage and make the tree pay for a human’s sins. Also, leaving the tree there will remind all normal people how precious our parks are.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kathryn
Gary (@guest_159978)
1 year ago

Article is a year and a half old. Tree has healed or has been cut down and perpetrators have been dealt with. Probably a “stern” scolding and a have a nice day. Smh.

David Stansbury (@guest_159957)
1 year ago

I agree with everybody about how disgusting this is. But a thought occurred to me. Did the ancients who made petroglyphs, carvings, etc. get in trouble for what they did? Don’t get me wrong- just wondering what the difference is.

Joe (@guest_159961)
1 year ago

The ancients used drawings as a way of communication. Now we have easier ways to communicate. With a mentality like this more than likely J and M’s relationship will not survive.

Joe (@guest_159979)
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe

Back decades ago in an effort to discourage graffiti at Hueco Tanks State Park in Texas (reported to have more petroglyphs and pictographs than anywhere else in the US) they sandblasted modern graffiti off old drawings depicting a battle between natives, white solders and settlers. The result was almost total loss of the drawings forever! How do these parks discourage such actions? I say with a very stiff penalty and community service to the area and lots of advertising as to what will happen to offenders. Make it really cost, now find a judge that will support this!

Snayte (@guest_159962)
1 year ago

An interesting take. Today’s graffiti may be a petroglyph for future generations. A more recent example would be Register Cliff on the Oregon trail.

Richard (@guest_159975)
1 year ago

Aren’t we supposed to be smarter than “The Ancients”?

BOB JOHNSON (@guest_159951)
1 year ago

I agree, cut down the tree. What a shame.

Leslie Schofield (@guest_159950)
1 year ago

There is a short hike to mirror lake in Yosemite from the campground. One of the things at mirror lake were all (about 30) cairns that had been created over the years. I watched in horror as a young boy knocked them all down and his father said nothing. We have the last pictures of them. Even then we were fearful of retribution from the father if we intervened….if he allowed his son to do that obviously doesn’t respect the environment.

Snayte (@guest_159959)
1 year ago

While kicking those down is not very nice and I would never defend it. Aren’t the cairns themselves another form of vandalism? Sure they do not leave any permanent damage but 30 groups of people decided that the rest of us could not enjoy unspoiled natural beauty at Yellowstone.

Richard (@guest_159973)
1 year ago
Reply to  Snayte

Amen. Leave no sign. Your ego does not impress others.

Donald N Wright (@guest_159946)
1 year ago

I guess I do not get angry like you do. Yes, I hope they are caught and prosecuted. Yes, adults have been carving initials & hearts for many years, usually smaller & privately. They have written names, drawings and dates on rocks. It becomes a crime when they alter something ancient. Instead, choose to clean up their mess, sort out what they left behind, donate, recycle or trash. Let’s see if we can fix that tree, and use the damage as a teaching tool. Please do not cut down a limb so you can park your RV there either.

david (@guest_159944)
1 year ago

HIDE IT, camouflage it, cover it, etc as fast as you can. Do not give the punk’s the satisfaction of knowing it exist. A neighborhood had a problem with punk’s spray painting everything. They came up with a policy to paint over any graffiti on fence, business, etc within 48 hours of noticing it. “Don’t give the punks the satisfaction”. They quit painting everything knowing their “masterpiece” is going to be destroyed in hours, they are just wasting their money on spray paint. Plus, no civilized people want their kids to see that c”:”p! Hide it with a natural looking vine wrapped around it, properly carved information signs, etc. etc. etc. Put a brainstorming team together and use your imagination because this problem will need a feasible solution as it is only going to get worse. The worse thing they can do is leave it there for the punks to gloat over.

John147 (@guest_159937)
1 year ago

Cut it down; no make it a learning moment – put up a sign that says, stupid people did this – don’t show your stupidness to the world.

Joe Allen (@guest_159922)
1 year ago

Having worked in Yellowstone NP, I have seen it all. People walking down the street or trails and just throw their trash, whatever it is in their hands, on the ground. One couple was cooking their dinner in a geyser to heat it up. People walking up to the bison like they were their pet dogs! Stupidity walks among us and they breed!

Carl (@guest_159914)
1 year ago

Cutting down the tree is, in my opinion, not a good solution. Obviously, site registration records may identify the criminal as there are initials. Prosecution and huge fines is the best solution and banishment for life from all National Parks would go a long way toward dissuading this type of behavior. An arborist may be able to save the tree and the abominable defacement can be covered. The tree’s bark will likely regrow over the damage.

Bill Braniff (@guest_159910)
1 year ago

It sure isn’t nice and it is disgusting, but there are a lot worse things going on in this here country of ours lately to be most worried about.

Richard (@guest_159974)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill Braniff

Big trouble starts with small acts. Stop it early.

TIMOTHY W STITZEL (@guest_159908)
1 year ago

As a retired Corrections Officer, I agree that the person should pay for the crime committed. But not with time behind bars. The person, regardless of age should be sent to a tattoo parlor and have it imbedded very deep into his skin as a reminder of what they destroyed.

Carson Axtell (@guest_140087)
2 years ago

More “Stupid Human Tricks”… It’s getting harder and harder to find a place remote enough to get away from all such evolutionary retrogrades.

Engineer (@guest_131916)
2 years ago

If this one year old post is about the tree in Joshua National Park, the two people who did this were 40 years old and fined $500 in November 2020……and the tree was repaired…..

Bob (@guest_159920)
1 year ago
Reply to  Engineer

The fine should have another zero behind it and banishment from State and Federal parks for life. And charged with a misdemeanor.

Roger B (@guest_160078)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

If in a National park it should be a felony, period. Huge fines and banishment.

James lagasse (@guest_159932)
1 year ago
Reply to  Engineer

I would hope they also paid for the repair!

Cathy Stover (@guest_125174)
2 years ago

They should be able to tell with the initials by who was in that site. Give them a hefty fine and make them replace the tree themselves and dig the hole for it!

Jim Knoch (@guest_124917)
2 years ago

None of my Boy Scouts would have ever done anything like this. They were taught to respect nature, not deface it.

Bob P (@guest_124888)
2 years ago

This was done by someone who had a friend instead of a parent when they were growing up. A parent would have told them this is wrong, instead their adult friend said oh that’s so cute. COME ON PEOPLE, YOU MADE THAT CHILD NOW BE A PARENT TO THAT CHILD. YOU CAN BE FRIENDS WITH THEM WHEN THEYRE NO LONGER YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!

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