We have been discussing the growing number of idiots who are leaving graffiti and destroying national and state parks. now, a group of infamous Canadian juveniles who called themselves “High on Life” are under investigation after videotaping themselves water skiing behind an RV on the Booneville Salt Flats. This is an area that strictly prohibits vehicles during periods when the area is wet because of the damage to the area. What is particularly disturbing is that this group has repeatedly violated such rules at national parks with little punishment or sign of reform. We previously discussed how our rules protecting national parks are meaningless due to the lack of enforcement or serious punishment. We need to pursue a formal banishment law for our parks to apply to such individuals.
The racing community is particularly upset with the video because it has canceled its famous Speed Week for two years to protect the Salt Flats in these condition. Since 1985, such use has been prohibited.
After the Salt Flat incident, High on Life went into a restricted area at Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring. They can be seen ignoring restricted signs and stomping around the fragile landscape at the spectacular Grand Prismatic Spring in the heart of Yellowstone and dipping their hands in the large thermal pool. The group has also been denounced for flying drones at Zion National Park, swinging by rope from Corona Arch, jumping a fence at Machu Picchu in Peru and clowning around at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. In other words, these are senseless jerks who videotape insulting and damaging conduct for other senseless jerks to watch.
The past record of ignoring posted signs and rules for park areas undermine a claim that they did not know about the restrictions on places like the Salt Flats.
The initial warrant for Yellowstone listed Charles Ryker Gamble, Alexey Andriyovych Lyakh and Justis Cooper Price-Brown as wanted creating a hazard and walking outside marked boardwalks and trails “in thermal areas” of the park. A further, similar warrant was also issued for the fourth member of the group after his identity was established as Hamish McNab Campbell Cross. The misdemeanors carry maximum fines of $5,000 a person for each offense and the remote possibility of jail time.
The men have been charged with misdemeanors for their actions in Yellowstone but that is obviously meaningless to them as a punishment. While they have since apologized and donated $5,000 to Yellowstone, their conduct demonstrates vividly that Congress needed to ramp up bout enforcement and punishment for such conduct. At a minimum, all of these individual shovel be banished from national parks. While courts can order such sanctions or prosecutors reach plea bargains that include agreements to stay out of national parks, we should have something more formal in place to banish those who would destroy or endanger our national wonders.