NPS needs help solving backcountry vandalism

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MuleQueen
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NPS needs help solving backcountry vandalism

Post by MuleQueen » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:32 pm

Death Valley National Park would like public help in solving a multiple vandalism that occurred during the January 2019 federal government shutdown.

These were discovered earlier this year, possibly because they were in remote locations, some of which are often accessible only with 4wd and/or high clearance. The person of interest (details in media release) was reportedly enroute to an event called King of the Hammers, an offroad vehicle gathering in Riverside County.

The media release is not yet on the park website, but when it is, it will have photos of the damage done to natural and historic features. Here is the text of the press release.

************************************************************
Rangers Seek Assistance Identifying Vandal

DEATH VALLEY, CA –Death Valley National Park Rangers are investigating repeated incidents of vandalism over the past two years and seek the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect.

Early this year, rock faces, buildings, and other infrastructure were vandalized with graffiti that reads in part “Steve & Lacy.” Similar acts of vandalism occurred during the federal government shutdown in early 2019, possibly by the same person. This individual is suspected to be a male from Grand Forks, British Columbia who traveled with a dog named Lacy on his way to an event called King of the Hammers.

Park Rangers are seeking any information that could aid this investigation. Tips can be submitted anonymously to the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch (ISB). Their tip line can be reached via call or text at: 888-653-0009; online at www.nps.gov/ISB and click “Submit a Tip,” or emailed to nps_isb@nps.gov.

Graffiti and other forms of damage to parks is illegal. The “Steve & Lacy” graffiti was found on rocks and historic structures in Echo Canyon, Butte Valley, Homestake Dry Camp, and Crankshaft Junction. Defacing any part of the national park degrades the experience of other visitors. Repair of vandalized sites is costly and time consuming, and often cannot restore the site to its former condition in some cases permanently defacing unique historic sites or natural features.

“It is heartbreaking to see treasures like Death Valley National Park get damaged by intentional acts such as these,” said Superintendent Mike Reynolds. “We ask park visitors to help us find those who should be held responsible, and thank hard working park rangers for efforts to prevent further damage.”

Park rangers are still patrolling Death Valley National Park during the current temporary closure due to coronavirus. Through traffic is allowed on CA-190 and Daylight Pass Road.

*******************************************************************

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Kauri
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Re: NPS needs help solving backcountry vandalism

Post by Kauri » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:08 pm

Thank you posting this. It's disgraceful what some people will do.

Can I copy this, to post on some off-road/4WD forums, since you mentioned this person was reportedly en route to KOH and folks who went to the same event may have encountered him? Generally, I've observed that community does not approve of such vandalism, especially in national parks, so folks there might be willing to help track down the offender.
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jacknv7
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Re: NPS needs help solving backcountry vandalism

Post by jacknv7 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:06 pm

Here is the press release with photo...

https://www.nps.gov/deva/learn/news/ran ... vandal.htm

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Re: NPS needs help solving backcountry vandalism

Post by TrailHound » Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:59 am

Grand Forks is a rather small town, population 4049, about 300 miles east of Vancouver. How hard could it be to ID this idiot? The off-roading community there must know who this is. Extradition from Canada for something that might well be settled as a misdemeanor is another matter. Two of the three guys who vandalized the pupfish at the Devils Hole were sentenced to one year probation. Only the third guy, a convicted felon with a gun, got a year in prison.

MuleQueen
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Re: NPS needs help solving backcountry vandalism

Post by MuleQueen » Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:54 pm

Feel free to share with anyone who might be interested.

This was also posted on TripAdvisor, on the forums for the park and for BC and Grand Forks. The threads on the BC forums were zapped and I got them restored, but they became contentious with one character repeatedly harassing me. A couple of locals said it wasn't appropriate for the BC forum, or to ask Canadians to contact U.S. authorities directly (obviously they've never heard the phrase "Tips poured in from around the world...")

Anyway, the threads got zapped again. So much for neighborly goodwill. :lol:

I did look up Grand Forks and noted how small it is. If someone there made a road trip to SoCal in a 4wd to attend King of Hammers, friends or neighbors would know. In fact, such a person, one who needs to mark trees and fire hydrants, wouldn't be able to keep his face shut about it. Maybe he bragged on Facebook or Instagram, and someone may have seen it but forgotten. So yes, certainly people know. Maybe one or more of them know the dude and got those threads deleted. :roll:
Last edited by MuleQueen on Wed Apr 15, 2020 3:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Kauri
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Re: NPS needs help solving backcountry vandalism

Post by Kauri » Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:38 pm

Thanks! I’ve posted this on the Marlin Crawler forum and the Panamint Valley forum.
Death Valley named locations map, and my trip reports: http://kaurijacobphotography.yolasite.com

Daw89446
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Re: NPS needs help solving backcountry vandalism

Post by Daw89446 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:57 pm

Report in the Bishop radio/TV station, with photos.
https://www.sierrawave.net/man-wanted-f ... onal-park/

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Re: NPS needs help solving backcountry vandalism

Post by MuleQueen » Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:57 pm

A number of news media have picked up this story, including several in British Columbia. So even though the locals on the TripAdvisor BC forum became contentious and abusive enough that the threads got closed, his friends and neighbors are going to know, if they don't already. His days are numbered.

It may not be worthwhile to extradite someone for something like this, but if the federal government could at least recover the cost of repairing or cleaning up the damage, that would be an accomplishment. And ban the dude from the park for life; I think that was done with at least one of the Devils Hole drunken ATV spree/shooting the lock/skinny-dipping in the cave case.

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Re: NPS needs help solving backcountry vandalism

Post by JesPortland » Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:26 pm

From DVFB:

https://www.facebook.com/DeathValleyNPS/

"Thank you to everyone that reported tips regarding the "Steve & Lacy" graffiti!

Steve is not on social media, but an acquaintance of his saw the story and told him about the public opinions. He called the tip line, confessed, and apologized to the investigating park ranger.

Charges have not been filed yet. Steve's cooperative attitude will likely be a mitigating factor in selecting penalties, which could include fines and/or restitution charges.

Remember, don't blame Lacy; she's a dog.

https:/…vandal-apologized.htm

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JesPortland
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Re: NPS needs help solving backcountry vandalism

Post by JesPortland » Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:28 pm


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Kauri
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Re: NPS needs help solving backcountry vandalism

Post by Kauri » Mon Apr 20, 2020 5:02 pm

JesPortland wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:26 pm
From DVFB:

https://www.facebook.com/DeathValleyNPS/

"Thank you to everyone that reported tips regarding the "Steve & Lacy" graffiti!

Steve is not on social media, but an acquaintance of his saw the story and told him about the public opinions. He called the tip line, confessed, and apologized to the investigating park ranger.

Charges have not been filed yet. Steve's cooperative attitude will likely be a mitigating factor in selecting penalties, which could include fines and/or restitution charges.

Remember, don't blame Lacy; she's a dog.

https:/…vandal-apologized.htm
Thank you for the update on this!
Death Valley named locations map, and my trip reports: http://kaurijacobphotography.yolasite.com

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