A Chinese national was fined $1000 after walking off the boardwalk and on a thermal feature in Yellowstone National Park earlier this week. He was also ordered to pay an additional $30 for a court processing fee.
According to a release from Yellowstone National Park, a visitor reported seeing a man walk on the terrace formations near Liberty Cap in the Mammoth Hot Spring area on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. The visitor reported that the man collected thermal water and also broke through the fragile travertine crust at the feature.
A park ranger took the witness’s statement, photos, and location of the violation.
An investigation led to the suspect being identified, and law enforcement spoke with him. The suspect allegedly told law enforcement that he did not read the safety information he was provided at the park entrance. He also allegedly admitted to collecting the hot springs water.
A federal violation notice requiring a mandatory appearance in the Yellowstone Justice Center Court was issued for off boardwalk travel in a thermal area.
Yellowstone National Park said that park rangers appreciate the willingness of the witness to document and report the violation.
Park employees call on all visitors to protect their park and protect themselves. Regulations to stay on designated trails and boardwalks in thermal areas are for visitor safety and the safety of the exceptional park natural resources. Without visitor cooperation, park natural wonders will continue to be damaged and more individuals may be injured or killed. It is a violation of federal regulations to collect any park resources.
For information on safety around thermal features, visit go.nps.gov/yellsafety.