The camper who did this should be thrown in jail


By Chuck Woodbury

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

It was taken at a national park campsite. Seeing it makes my blood boil.

I have a very difficult time understanding 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.

I 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. To me, seeing it is a reminder of the worst side of humanity. I wonder if I would even accept this campsite if I discovered this graffiti when I arrived to stay.

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 huge fine and if the judge determines, spend a little time in the slammer to ponder their ignorant behavior. Oh, I am so angry about this!

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Eileen Brown
6 days ago

Too bad a camping neighbor didn’t film them and take it straight to a ranger. This stuff drives me nuts.

D Haley
8 days ago

I understand the carvings from years ago as the American Indians on the east coast we noted to do as well. But there were not the infestation of insects we have today as well as all the pollutants we have today. This behavior can only be culled but prosecution to the full extent of law. But unfortunately we have a system of judges that are way to liberal. So a slap on the hand and the process starts all over again. Those that are caught by us should take their picture and deliver it to the wardens, foresters, law enforcement including vehicle identification. And work to gets laws passed that makes the minimum fine of thousands and locked up until fine is paid and while locked up you’re being charged what the local hotel charges plus meals per day. It’s just a shame the lack of respect.

Sharon B
8 days ago

I agree. This is destruction of a campground private property. What idiots they are who did this.

Karen Talley
6 days ago
Reply to  Sharon B

Wont they be able to know the culprit by site reservation?

8 days ago

Such a shame that people are morons. I was visiting the Vatican in Italy only to witness some teenager graffitiing the Coppola’s, while the parents took there. I must admit I lost my $hit and reprimanded the kid! And the parents said nothing, to me or to their kid!

8 days ago
Reply to  Darlene

you could be of service educating the morons that are desecrating America’s cities and historical monuments

David Shipp
10 days ago

I am amazed by how many people on this forum seem to have an issue with cutting down the tree. No it will not change the fact that his happened, but it will stop other impressionable and ignorant people from getting the idea this is acceptable behavior. That tree is no more than thirty years old, probaably closer to ten. Trees are a renewable resource if we don’t allow them to be defacead and exposed to unnessecary bug infestation. Defacing some thing that does not belong to you seems to be a new normal. Getting the wrong message from this defacement is not the education people need. Just like the bear that finds out that people are a source for food and has to be put down because some one acted ignorantly, this tree needs to be removed.
For those who don’t get it, I suppose there could be some sort of pomp and circumstance where the public is invited in and shown that if you are caught defacing a tree you will be fined and here is what the person who defaced this tree caused.

8 days ago
Reply to  David Shipp

While this particularly egregious example is reprehensible from where we stand right now, this is hardly a new phenomenon. I photographed many “arborglyphs” in the aspens of the San Juan National Forest in Colorado. I saw carvings as old as the 1940s, although I need the help of a federal forester to translate the now-callused carvings. Yes, the “good old days” of the ’40s. People aren’t any different now, there’s just more of them.

Turns out there were aspens being carved over a hundred years ago by Basque sheepherders, passing their time while tending their sheep. More info here.

Douglas Powell
14 days ago

You finish with cutting down the tree and I’m sure you got a lot of flack for that but you are right. It is no different than bring your dog into a park with sign saying not to! Once the floodgates of STUPID are opened it favors the stupid over the responsible and there is a simple term for it “Social Facilitation” That is why our towns are being desecrated and destroyed. we need to nip it in the bud. Sacrificing a tree will eliminate a sign that states it is Cool!, because it is NOT!

18 days ago

I agree with you 100%. The destruction of our environment is becoming rampant. These illiterate and Ignorant bafoons are not being instructed properly both at home and in schools as to the importance of our natural world. I fear for our future.

19 days ago

Did you guys never do this growing up? What we need to do is educate folks. Yes there are people out there who won’t listen but most will. Maybe a pamphlet in the tent box and given by the RV dealer when you buy a rig or when you check into a campground. People have been carving bark for who knows how many thousands of years. They need to learn you shouldn’t do it at a campsite, or water tower but that’s another subject. Far worse is the trash and human waste problem. We can complain about these folks all day long but until we find a way to educate them we’re partially to blame.

Lester Hollins
9 days ago
Reply to  George

Unfortunately common sense is not so common.

Adrian Cahill
19 days ago

I agree Fully

Gene DeMeter
20 days ago

Levy a serious fine if the park can track down the perpetrators and remove the tree to avoid tempting another couple to do the same. Its presence seriously detracts from the beauty of the location and is not an immovable object like a boulder etc.

Brenda W Odom
20 days ago

And therein lies the problem. “Should be” doesn’t make a dent. Laws not enforced, are easily ignored. Simple behavioral psychology based on reward vs. reinforcement. Jails aren’t big enough for the new behavioral norms.

Evans Givan
20 days ago

People been doing this for hundreds of years. Or more. You think you can change it? Gdet over it and find something you CAN change to vent about.

21 days ago

Definitely cut down the tree and don’t give any more morons ideas.

18 days ago
Reply to  Camilla

That would not solve the problem. That is like euthanizing a person who has had an amputation due to diabetes. More education in schools and like the person said above put instructions in a camp
Brochure and levy fines.

Tom Piper
18 days ago
Reply to  Lois

Nice thought but people do not read signs. Besides, signs should not be replacements for common sense and respect for someone else’s property. A tree in a campground is NOT their property. If they would do something this senseless and stupid, what else might they be capable of doing. What would be your feeling if the tree was in your yard? Or maybe the side of your house?

10 days ago
Reply to  Tom Piper

When very young, I was taken into the woods where my father and siblings grew up in the 1920’s. Each of those eleven children had their initials in a tree by the creek. That tree is still there, carving not so distinguishable now. Sure wish some of them were here too. While I do not advocate for defacing nature, sometimes I think these discussions go way too far with wishful penalties. Now this was also not “public lands”, but my grandfather’s farm. Wish we could go back to a more live/let live society and not wish such severity on our neighbors. I live in a growing community where it seems folks moving in want to exercise penalties onto those they see as offenders, hence ridiculous local ordnance and HOA rules. Will this end with neighbors watching neighbors?

21 days ago

Instead of being angry or upset over this since there is nothing you can do about it just use as a reminder of what people do to nature, animals and people. It is this you wonder just how bad these people really are. IMO not yours

Mike Albert
21 days ago

Unfortunately, you can’t fix stupid!
I seem to recall that earlier this year or maybe last year a celebrity was charged with defacing property for carving her initials into rock at a National Park.

21 days ago

I once reported a family for using a chainsaw to cut down a live tree for firewood in a state park campground. It took forever for a park ranger to get there, but the campers were evicted immediately. See something – say something.

Linda Jackson
21 days ago

The park can trace the camper and charge them with damage to property?
I think Parks should take note of campers who trash sites, damage property And trespass them from returning to that Park or any other park.

21 days ago

We have a rock “ limestone “ house and the rock came from an old peanut oil mill built in the 40’s. Some of the limestone of course were from the exterior walls of the mill, but most of the rock was from the basement. When the stone masons were placing the large rocks to fit certain angles of our house they found a rock where someone had carve an arrow A💘E initials in it. I really would love to locate this couple, but I have no way to do so anyway I wish they would have told me before placing it outside, I would have loved it in the house on the fireplace. People just do this stuff.. I’m guessing a young couple tent camping and wanted a memory of their vacation. We were in Glacier National Park last week and I was taking a picture of my Dalmatian up on the rock and people had carved all kinds of stuff in the rocks. When we go to the beach I get a stick and write in the sand “ WE WERE HERE IN 2020. Then the wave comes in and it goes away.

Colleen Smith
21 days ago

This is basically graffiti on trees. What a disgrace!

18 days ago
Reply to  Colleen Smith

Like tattoos. Graffiti on living things. So the younger generation find this acceptable. I know, I am an old fuddy duddy. At least where it concerns property that you do NOT own except in theory.

21 days ago

That is destroying Federal property, which I’m certain is a crime.