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Utah News

Vandal Defiles National Parks Across The West

vandalism artwork shows up in scenic places.
Casey Nocket
Modern Hiker
The Park Service is investigating vandalism in parks across the West.

The National Park Service is investigating a string of vandalism incidents across the West, and they’re using social media to find the perpetrator.

The vandalism was first reported on the blog Modern Hiker. The blog claims the vandalism, which features paintings of people, was perpetrated by the New York based artist Casey Nocket. Nocket allegedly recorded the paintings on her Instagram account, which has now been deleted.

National Park Service Spokesperson Alexandria Picavet would not confirm that the artist listed in the blog post was responsible, however she did say that social media did help bring the problem to light.

“Vandalism is seen as a misdemeanor, it’s seen as destroying, injuring, defacing or damaging property or real property,” Picavet said. “That misdemeanor can carry with it a year in jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine.”

Picavet said the vandalism has been confirmed in five national parks, including Zion and Canyonlands in Utah and three others in California and Oregon. She said the Park Service is investigating reports of vandalism in Bryce Canyon along with a handful of other parks across the West.

Response to the recent vandalism on social media has been largely negative, and Picavet said understanding the greater impacts of vandalism can help protect the national parks in the long run.

“The more that people are aware, the more that people self-govern so that they don’t leave behind graffiti or any kind of vandalism like this, that helps us in the long run protect these national treasures,” Picavet said.

Each national park is conducting its own investigation into the paintings. Picavet said charges could be filed in addition to the misdemeanor.