YOSEMITE – The National Park Service (NPS) is investigating reports of vandalism in at least 10 national parks in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Utah.
One case reportedly occurred in Yosemite National Park near the Mist Trail, and while the NPS is not discussing the details of a case, which remains under investigation, they do say that they take the issue of vandalism seriously.
“National parks exist to preserve and protect our nation’s natural, cultural and historic heritage for both current and future generations,” says the NPS in a press release on Thursday, Oct. 23. “Vandalism is a violation of the law and it also damages and sometimes destroys often irreplaceable treasures that belong to all Americans. There are forums for artistic expression in national parks because national parks inspire artistic creativity. These images are outside that forum and outside the law.”
While the NPS may be remaining mute on naming the perpetrator(s), ModernHiker.com is affording one woman no such anonymity, posting this on their website on Tuesday:
“This morning, our friend Rebecca at Calipidder alerted us via a Facebook post to a woman named Casey Nocket who had traveled to the west coast from New York for a few weeks. Ms. Nocket had been enjoying her time in the outdoors so much that she decided to document her trip on Instagram. And apparently Nocket was so moved by all the natural beauty she saw that she just had to paint all over it.”
It appears that Nocket traveled the country, defacing national treasures, and then posting photos of her work on social media. Someone then posted one the photos on Reddit, and a Yosemite ranger saw the post and asked people to contact him with any other photos or information.
It also appears that her Instagram account has since been deleted, once the NPS began investigating her travelog, but the image of her “artwork” at Crater Lake was still posted to her Tumblr account this evening. Also, Modern Hiker managed to capture some screenshots before everything disappeared.
Some may look at this and feel there’s not too much damage, because it’s probably chalk, and will wash off after a few good rains. But Calipidder also posted a screenshot of a thread where someone asks Nocket (whose screen name is ‘creepytings’) if this is chalk, and she replies, “acrylic. I know, I’m a bad person.”
Background from NPS: Vandalism, as described in the Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR 2.31(a)(3): Destroying, injuring, defacing, or damaging property or real property.
Parks affected: Yosemite National Park, California; Death Valley National Park, California; Crater Lake National Park, Oregon; Zion National Park and Canyonlands National Park, both in Utah. We are awaiting confirmation in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona; Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park and Joshua Tree National Park, both in California; Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado; Bryce National Park, Utah.
About the National Park Service – More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.