Zion officials say more visitors are literally leaving their marks on the park

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  • Misseleer71 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 3, 2018 3:28 a.m.

    Why should people be punished? If the children of 50,000 years ago didn't do all the graffiti we see today then where would we be today to see the child art work of generations past describing what they saw and had then?

    Why shouldn't children of today be punished for the art and painting they make of sky scrapers and tall buildings and big cities covering hundreds of square miles for people who follow us 50,000 tears from now. Even simple things like a date and name becomes history when it scratched into a rock. It is usually done by children of a generation who make the art work, so its clear that over eons of time, we haven't changed a bit. Pioneer trails are full of marking left by travelers and explorers who also dared to travel the great distances to move around the globe.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Sept. 1, 2018 11:37 a.m.

    Penalties need to be extremely harsh for those who are caught. Otherwise, offenders will continue.
    Minimum of 5 years in prison for first offense defacing in a national or state park.

  • EastCoastM Amherst, NH
    Sept. 1, 2018 10:23 a.m.

    When does it stop being graffiti and starts being historical art? I'm not supporting the graffiti, I'm merely pointing out the double standard that comes with cleaning off modern defacing but protecting any that is a couple hundred years or more old. If the rangers just left this up for a couple hundred years it could turn into protected art.

  • Cowboy Poet Vernal, UT
    Sept. 1, 2018 9:44 a.m.

    Boy, oh boy, do I hate seeing graffiti!

    I'm a big fan of railroad trains, and just like the problem in the National Parks, graffiti is out of control wherever there are railroad tracks or railroad equipment.

    The solution?

    Yeah, I know it's merely an idle, impractical reverie, but - - -

    Create foot patrols of Viet Nam War veterans armed with M-14 and/or M-16 rifles, and empower them with the authority to impose summary executions of anyone caught defacing public property.

    (No, I'm just an elderly, totally disabled, and heavily medicated Viet Nam War veteran, leaving me a shut-in, not even able to go to church or the Temple.)

    In a more serious vein, why not sentence vandals to an indeterminate term of cleaning up graffiti, with their punishment to be continued indefinitely until all graffiti everywhere has been erased?

    Obviously, the threat of fines and/or brief jail time isn't an adequate deterrent.

    Also, in this discussion thread, I keep seeing the politically correct phrase, "Native American", which I find particularly offensive, as it is only one of numerous Marxist tactics deliberately intended to divide American citizens against each other.

  • conservative scientist Lindon, UT
    Sept. 1, 2018 8:52 a.m.

    Graffiti is a big problem and serious efforts should be made to address the problem, including fines, etc.

    I do suggest the Park Rangers and NPS pick their battles carefully. Reading about the dangers of "muddy hand prints" is not the same as inscribing one's name, or something else, with a rock on the wall. Sure, educate about muddy hand prints, but emphasize those things that are most important. Occasionally the NPS, or some certain individuals within the NPS go to such extreme positions that many in the general public will simply laugh off all of their suggestions as absurd and they end up hurting the situation rather than helping the situation.

    One of many examples of above mentioned extremism is when Arches national Park closed off a little sandy ravine about 100 yards into the popular Devil's Garden trail several years ago. Children have been running up and down the ravine for decades and no plants have ever grown there to anyone's knowledge. When they close it off for "re-vegetation" it is simply lunacy and lessens respect for the many other areas where there can be legitimate re-vegetation projects. Thankfully it opened again a year later.

  • RWOFVA RIVERTON, UT
    Sept. 1, 2018 8:19 a.m.

    Can we distinguish between graffiti and vandalism of the parks and muddy handprints? While I suppose technically you can explain how the oils from the hands can cause harm to the rocks I wonder how many visitors while in the parks actually touch no rocks. If we call everything an offense then we make nothing an offense. Just put up a sign where the muddy handprints are happening and vast majority of handprint offenders will stop.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 1, 2018 8:15 a.m.

    The fines and other penalties are much to soft for these crimes. What would the penalty be for scratching initials in the liberty bell, the Statue of Liberty, the Vietnam Wall, Lincoln's Memorial, etc.?

    They were man made. The work of nature took millions of years to complete and is still a work in progress.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Sept. 1, 2018 7:53 a.m.

    @old basketball

    "Yes, there is one specific group. It is generally young men who do this."

    Specifically, young men who have leaders who pass along "values" such as how to topple rocks in Goblin Valley.

    The end of scouting in the Church will be a blessing to members and to the environment.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Sept. 1, 2018 6:21 a.m.

    Vandalism and theft has been increasing for the past number of years. Overall, there is a climate in this country, especially on the Far Right, that devalues our natural heritage and Native American culture. Since we will have no support from the POTUS and his Interior chief, we will have to enact local laws that raise the fines, and enforce more diligently when laws are broken. Local police need to be involved.

    And everyone who enters these parks will have to sign an agreement that they understand that vandalism and removal of rocks or artifacts constitutes a crime. Make them sign it when they pay to enter. Put signs up along the road. And track demographics on people who break the law. My guess is it's not our guests from outside the US.

  • Misseleer71 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 1, 2018 3:45 a.m.

    What did they expect when the popularized and populated the canyons and parks with every kind of human that came to visit the area? The parks made no effort to protect them from graffiti so they have no one to blame but their own greed and stupidity for putting the parks up for access. If you want to preserve something you don't exploit it and surrender the parks to ungrateful people and foreign nationals who don't respect what is there. The condition of the parks should have been an expected outcome where greed motivated by politicians pockets is why all this is happening. Either shut down the parks or shut up and live with the stupidity and effort you have done all by yourself. I can't have pity for the parks condition when stupid greedy politicians and city leaders are responsible for the parks getting trashed.

  • oldbasketball Draper, UT
    Sept. 1, 2018 12:28 a.m.

    Yes, there is one specific group. It is generally young men who do this.

  • Kralon HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
    Aug. 31, 2018 10:51 p.m.

    "there is no specific group to blame."

    As the descendant of Native Americans and Park Rangers, I would disagree, the two groups would be those who are careless vandals and intentional vandals. I understand that not everyone has grown up being taught to leave public property better than you found it, but ignorance is no excuse and perhaps park visitors need to be required to sit through some training before or when visiting. How else are we going to be able to pass down these national treasures to our descendants if we don't protect them?

  • Chancey Sandy, UT
    Aug. 31, 2018 6:25 p.m.

    Seems like way too light of a fine. I would love to see more people caught and prosecuted for this crime; Not only in southern Utah, but all along the Wasatch. This is 10 times more serious than littering and the punishment should fit the crime.