A man from New York found out the hard way that Yellowstone National Park doesn’t play around when it comes to preserving their geothermal areas.
K2 Radio reports Cory L. Skinner pleaded guilty to walking in an off-limits thermal area in Yellowstone National Park two weeks ago and has been sentenced to a short stint in jail for the offense.
Skinner was charged with two violations related to the April 12th. The first: “including knowingly and unlawfully enter a thermal area in Old Faithful District on the Path to the Upper Geyser Basin.” The second: “knowingly and unlawfully possess, destroy, injure, remove, dig, or disturb from its natural state a mineral resource or cave formation or the parts thereof.”
Both offenses are punishable by up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine. Skinner pleaded guilty to the first count, admitting he disobeyed the Yellowstone guideline which states“foot travel in all thermal areas and within the Yellowstone Canyon between the Upper Falls and Inspiration Point must be confined to boardwalks or trails that are maintained for such travel and are marked by official signs.”
As part of a plea agreement, the second count was dismissed. U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Hambrick handed down the 7-day jail sentence (with credit for three days served) and Skinner will have two years of unsupervised probation after his release from custody. He is also banned from Yellowstone for two years.
Skinne was also assessed a $500 fine and $1,250 in community service to the Park’s nonprofit partner Yellowstone Forever Geologic Resource Fund in Bozeman, Montana.
Word to the wise for anyone planning a trip to Yellowstone this summer…follow the rules and stay on the boardwalks or you may end up in the slammer.
HERE’S A QUICK LIST OF PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES IN YELLOWSTONE:
These regulations help us protect park resources while also providing you a safe and enjoyable experience. The following activities are prohibited in Yellowstone:
- Willfully remaining near or approaching wildlife, including nesting birds, within any distance that disturbs or displaces the animal.
- Hunting or feeding wildlife.
- Traveling off boardwalks or designated trails in hydrothermal areas.
- Throwing anything into thermal features.
- Swimming in hot springs.
- Removing or possessing natural or cultural resources (such as wildflowers, antlers, rocks, and arrowheads).
- Leaving detachable side mirrors attached when not pulling trailers.
- Traveling off-road by vehicle or bicycle.
- Camping outside of designated areas.
- Spotlighting wildlife (viewing with lights).
- Imitating elk calls or using buglers. Imitating wolf howls.
- Using electronic equipment capable of tracking wildlife
- Launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft (drones) on lands and waters.
- Smoking is prohibited in geyser basins or on trails. There is no smoking in buildings or within 25 feet of building entrances.
images from Yellowstone NPS Facebook