Vandalism rare at Rocky Mountain National Park

9NEWS @ 4. 9/6/2016

KUSA - A video from Oregon's Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area is going viral.

The video shows a group of tourists toppling a popular rock formation known as the “Duckbill.” A bystander got a video of the group celebrating what they did.

Here in Colorado, experts say it’s up to those who visit our parks to make sure something like that doesn’t happen.

"This is a beloved place to most people and most people take care of it," Kyle Patterson with Rocky Mountain National Park said.

Patterson says vandalism is actually pretty rare at RMNP -- which is impressive when you consider that more than four million people visited the park in 2015.

However, there have been some cases of people mistreating the park. Earlier this year, 23-year-old Casey Nocket was sentenced to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service for vandalizing Rocky and other parks across the country.

Nocket used acrylic paint to draw over rock formations.

"It's extremely unfortunate because that area will never be the same--and our park staff would like to be doing other things than cleaning vandalism," Patterson said.

Patterson says the lack of incidents in Rocky Mountain National Park may actually be due to the millions who visit the park annually. She says oftentimes, they act as eyes and ears for park rangers who can't be in all places at all times.

In the case of Casey Nocket, park goers actually helped catch her after she posted photos of the vandalism on social media. Patterson says ultimately that's how it has to work.

"It's truly going to take all of society to make a decision that all of these places are worth taking really good care of and not vandalizing and that there will be punishment for people that do vandalize areas like this,” she said.

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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