Outdoor community’s online outrage over national park graffiti aids in investigation and fining of artist.
Joshua Tree National Park released a statement about cracking down on vandalism in its park along with removing years of graffiti from places like Barker Dam. Convictions of vandalism in the park have been in the spotlight recently including French street artist Andre Saravia, known as Mr. Andre, who was forced to pay a fine for vandalizing park property in February 2015.
Mr. Andre had posted pictures on Instagram of his vandalism. A “Modern Hiker” reader alerted the online magazine and the resulting Instagram exchange lead to an investigation after Rebecca from “Calipidder” recognized the terrain and was able to prove the “art” was on park land.
Investigators determined that Mr. Andre had vandalized both inside and outside of the park after the incident had sparked outrage throughout the outdoor community. Mr. Andre’s attorneys issued threats to “Modern Hiker” claiming libelous reporting however the exchange ended without further incident and Mr. Andre paid the park fine less than a month later.
Joshua Tree National Park Ranger Jeff Ohlfs stated in the release earlier this month, “We will use any and all available resources to bring those who engage in this behavior to justice” while continuing to encourage citizens to keep up the “good work” in reporting incidents and remaining vigilant regarding misuse of National Park land.
Thankfully the watchful eyes of nature-lovers lead to the righting of the wrongs of vandalizing our beautiful National parks. Finding vandals who take joy in destroying beauty is difficult but when they braggingly post on social media it makes it easier to catch them.