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Around The National Park System: Vandalism, Record Visitation, Possible New "Parks"

Vandalism in the national parks

It has been nearly a year since vandalism in the form of acrylic paintings popped up in eight Western national parks, yet the investigation continues to drag on//Screen grab via Modern Hiker

Ongoing vandalism investigations, possible new "national parks," and 3 million visitors to Yellowstone National Park are among the stories floating about the National Park System.

Creepytings Investigation Slogs On

The ongoing investigation into the alleged artist/vandal who called herself "creepytings" is ... ongoing. National Park Service officials last week said there still is no outcome into the investigation tied to acrylic paintings on rock outcrops at Western national parks.

While the woman at the center of the investigation -- Casey Nocket -- went by "creepytings" on her social media accounts that displayed some of the images and reportedly has been interviewed by investigators, charges have yet to be brought.

National Park Service investigators confirmed that images were painted on rocks and boulders in Yosemite National ParkDeath 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.

Park Service spokeswoman April Slayton could not say what was holding up the case.

Camarasaurus skull at Dinosaur National Monument/NPS

Is Dinosaur National Monument soon to become Dinosaur National Park?/NPS

Dinosaur National ... Park?

Down through the decades there have been rumblings from various individuals and organizations that Dinosaur National Monument in northeastern Utah and northwestern Colorado should be redesignated a "national park." Well, that name change might not be too far off.

Two Republican congressmen from Utah, Rep. Rob Bishop and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, have been working for months on a rather large conservation deal for eastern Utah. News reports say that one aspect of the deal would have the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry in Emery County designated as a national monument, while another would rename Dinosaur as a national park.

At Cleveland-Lloyd, located about 150 miles south of Salt Lake City,  you can find "the densest concentration of Jurassic-aged dinosaur bones ever found. The deposit is also the largest collection of a large meat-eating dinosaur (allosaurus fragilis) ever found."

Castle Geyser, Yellowstone National Park/Kurt Repanshek

Having welcomed 3 million visitors through the first eight months of 2015, how many can Yellowstone handle without impacting resources?/Kurt Repanshek

Yellowstone National Park Reaches 3 Million Visitors

Yellowstone has welcomed more than 3 million visitors so far this year...leaving park officials wondering how they can both improve visitor experiences and protect the park resources at the same time.

Through August, the park had counted 3.1 million visitors, and with four months left to go in 2015, a visitation record for the entire year could be notched. That visitation to date is a 15 percent increase over 2014 traffic numbers.

“We have been surprised by the size of the increase this year,” said Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk. “We will be looking at what this means for the future and what we can do to improve visitor experiences while still protecting park resources.”

While many factors are at play, park managers point to the National Park Service’s “Find Your Park” public awareness campaign, lower gas prices, and tourism promotions by the states of Montana and Wyoming as possible influences in the record number of visits to Yellowstone. 


I see those horrible republican congress critters are at it again.
Sorry, I just couldn't resist.

I just don't understand why it is taking so long to take action in the vandalism case. Can anyone share insight?

Agreed, wild.  But what do we do about it when they insist on vandalizing our parks through neglect and political game playing?

Maybe be careful about who we vote for?

Rick, you are not alone.  It is truly shameful that Casey Nocket seems to have gotten away with felony vandalism.

I hope that everyone who cares about nature and our parks will contact the National Park Service and urge them to prosecute this vandal to the full extent of the law.
Here's what I have sent:

Months have passed since your agency learned of the felony vandalism committed in various National Parks by Casey Nocket. Many thousands of people have expressed their shock and outrage over this inexcusable behavior, and hope that she will be vigorously prosecuted to the full extent of the law. To fail to do so will only encourage more vandalism and increase the rate of destruction of one of our nation's most valuable resources.

Hey, Wild, no need to apologize for speaking the truth.

Sorry, I just couldn't resist.

Keep smiling.

Agree Lee. On a another subject, I just finished reading a wonderful jewel of book, "Nature Noir" by Jordan Fisher Smith. "Extraordinary... a penetrating ranger's eye view", Outside Magazine. Or "Smith writes about the natural world with more grace than anyone since Edward Abbey". Newsweek. Published in 2007, I am way behind, but for those that are interested in a truly gifted ranger, what they do and written with a gift for storytelling, this is a great read.  

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