Earlier this month, four men from Canada decided it would be fun to go clomping through Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the United States and the third largest in the world. Grand Prismatic Spring is one of the most breathtaking sights in Yellowstone and a natural wonder. These men willfully ignored the signs posted all over the park saying why this was forbidden and did it any way. In doing so, they put their lives at risk and harmed the delicate bacterial mats that make Grand Prismatic Spring such a treasure.
The men purportedly travel the world taking videos that promote adventure and sell a clothing line along those same lines. They posted videos and photos of their illegal hot springs selfie on their Facebook page. Fortunately other people who actually RESPECT our natural wonders were also armed with cameras and took photos and reported these men to the authorities. They have been identified and are now facing fines and other criminal charges.
It gets worse. These men…no wait, they aren’t men. Real men don’t act like this. This is the behavior of spoiled, immature, selfish asshats. But I digress…
The group issued an apology, after they got caught, saying they got “overzealous in their enthusiasm” at seeing the hot spring. But prior to their little jaunt, they took and posted photos of the signs posted by the hot spring telling people it is illegal to get off the trail and harmful to the resource. They knew what they were doing was wrong and did it anyway. This isn’t a case of not knowing better. This is willful destruction of property and a blatant disregard for the rules.
It gets even worse. This isn’t the first time they’ve pulled such a stunt. These jerks have apparently been desecrating national monuments all across the world. They posted photos on their Facebook page of them climbing the holocaust memorial in Germany, roping and hanging from the arches in Utah, skiing behind their RV as it races across the Bonneville Salt Flats, standing in an off limits area and bragging about being yelled at by guards approximately 18 times at Machu Picchu. (After their Yellowstone stunt was made public, they quickly pulled these photos and videos, but their behavior lives on in screenshots.)
This whole ordeal angers me for so many reasons. These stunts are damaging OUR natural resources. Yours and mine. Yellowstone isn’t the private playground of four spoiled Candadian jackwagons. They don’t get to do what they want because they think it would be fun and make them money. It is a national park that belongs to all Americans. These amazing places have been entrusted to the public to love and respect and protect them, and these guys literally walked all over that concept. Actions like these jeopardize our enjoyment of our natural resources, and the access of these wonders for future generations.
It is selfish. It is disrespectful. It is grandstanding for the sake of grandstanding. It promotes irresponsible behavior and endangers some of the last remaining “wild” places we have left in this country.
As of writing this, their Instagram account has 935,000 followers. Their YouTube channel has 276,369 subscribers. Their Facebook page has 61,151 likes. That is a lot of people that are tuned into these guys. That’s more than a million people they could be sharing a legal, ethical and beneficial message with. They could be educating folks on how to appropriately enjoy and benefit these special places. Instead, they use their following to promote their own egos, which in turn encourages more illegal, dangerous, unethical and harmful behavior.
The Wyoming Attorney General has filed charges against these four men and has issued warrants for their arrest. I hope they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I only hope that there is some provision for the feds to seize all of the equipment they used in the commission of these crimes, as when game wardens can seize equipment used in the commission of a poaching. I hope they lose their equipment, their RV and a serious amount of money.
I hope their travel privileges are revoked and they are forced to get high on life within the Canadian borders. I find it interesting that all of their blatantly harmful escapades have been out of the reach of their country’s authorities. These idiots do not deserve to experience my wonderful country, or the many other beautiful and natural places in this world. They have proven they care only about themselves and promoting their brand.
I hope they are black balled by sponsors and never receive another dime that helps promote their company or clothing line. In the past, they’ve received backing from sponsors like Red Bull, Contiki, Bud Light and other “adventure” brands.
But it still won’t be enough. Because somewhere there are other young men and women watching the drivel they’ve posted and thinking what they did was funny, cool and okay. So it is only a matter of time before something like this happens again. And the cycle of selfishness, immature, destructive behavior continues.
What’s the answer? I wish I knew.
P.S. On a more positive note, if you haven’t ever been to Yellowstone, do yourself a favor and plan a trip. It is an amazing place. Yes, you’ll be rubbing elbows with other tourists galore, but it really is something special and a place everyone should have the privilege of enjoying in their lifetime. The photo above is one I took when Outdoor Guy and I visited in 2011. Just scrolling through my photos makes me want to go back. Tomorrow. Just #stayonthetrail!