One of our favorite destinations in Utah is this 170 million year old Jurassic playground, the Goblin Valley State Park. Families, hikers and tourists can walk and climb among the hoodoos that resemble goblins or mushrooms.
Unfortunately, some Boy Scout leaders became part of the 9,000 cases of park vandalism documented since 2009. They decided “in a spirit of public safety, they had some fun and maybe saved a life” by toppling a goblin rock off its delicate perch.
Instead of becoming heroes for showing their video that quickly went viral, they began receiving death threats and hate mail. The embarrassing publicity reflected on the Boy Scouts of America, forced the removal of their Scout Leader titles.
As part of their legal agreement, they each paid a $925 court-mandated plea in abeyance fee. This means that during their one year probation, they must behave like normal people. How difficult this may be for them remains to be seen.
The state is still determining how much they will need to pay for adding signs around the park. Apparently park visitors need to see in writing, that becoming famous for causing destruction and then paying an expensive fine isn’t very smart.
Do you think the Goblin Topplers should have spent time in prison for their destruction? Must the state park build fences, to save historical sites from future vandalism?