Trespass and vandalism: civil disobedience, or misplaced frustration?

As I contemplated my keyboard this morning, wanting to write about some recent frustrations, I noticed a new email in my inbox and found my good friend and fellow ranger had already beat me to it. Knowing I could never improve on her eloquent writing and persuasive grace, I thought I’d share her post here. Please pass along her observations with whomever you can. I find them to be very important.

Ranger Kathryn's Arches

Things are quickly going from “okay” to “not okay” in our parks, and it isn’t because of the animals. My friend/colleague in California offers a ranger’s-eye view —

Meanwhile in Death Valley National Park, the tally so far stands at:

– 6 padlocks cut
– 7 closure signs removed
– 3 locks picked
– 2 deadbolts vandalized beyond repair
– 2 piles of poo outside locked restrooms
– 2 big-ass boulders moved aside for a vehicle to drive off-road around a locked gate
– And an unaccountable number of traffic cones and sandwich boards tossed aside or run over by a vehicle

Thank you for vandalizing! Please come again!

Multiply this by more than 400 park units. People intent on getting into a forbidden place rarely stop to consider the consequences of their actions. I fully understand the public’s anger at being locked out of public lands, and their ideological…

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