Most people go to our national parks to experience nature, to enjoy inspiring vistas, to commune with natural beauty. But one woman apparently went there to slap paint on the cliffs and mesas. Acrylic paint. Selected perhaps for its permanency.
And then, in spasm of hubris documented it on the internet.
Proverbs 16:18 comes to mind – Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. The phrase arrogant idiot also applies.
ModernHiker has been following this story, managing to grab her photos before it occurred to her that she was documenting felonious actions. Defacing national parks and monuments is considered to be a big no-no. Thus awakened to her peril, she has removed much of the evidence. But you can see them here on ModernHiker:
Apparently Nocket forgot that most things live forever on the internet. And the fury of the park-going public made it go viral.
The National Park Service has paid attention. On October 29th it issued a press release explaining that they were investigating and to be patient (as in perhaps not storm the parks in protest or attempt to hang Nocket). Note that this is a later press release than the one mentioned in the video.
“A 21-year-old New York State woman, Casey Nocket, has been identified as the primary suspect in recent vandalism cases that affect eight national parks in the western United States.
National Park Service investigators have confirmed that images were painted on rocks and boulders in Yosemite National Park, Death Valley National Park, and Joshua Tree National Park, all in California; Rocky Mountain National Park and Colorado National Monument, both in Colorado; Crater Lake National Park, in Oregon; Zion National Park and Canyonlands National Park, both in Utah.”
I’m a supporter of street art. We have quite a bit in Albuquerque, almost all of it gracing the sides of buildings with the permission of the owners. These artists turn drab walls into vibrant canvases. All with permission (did I mention that important “permission” aspect?)
I live in the southwest and have visited some of these awe-inspiring places. I’ve photographed them and use their beauty to calm my soul.
What should be done about Nocket’s defacing? Providing her with paint remover, a small toothbrush and have her undo the damage comes to mind. As does a hefty fine.
What do you think?
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.