The National Park Service is trying to identify two men after they were photographed vandalizing the scenic Moran Point at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Moran Point is a highly-visited viewpoint along East Rim Drive that offers breathtaking views of Coronado Butte, the Colorado River, and Red Canyon. Two photographers caught detailed photos of the two men inscribing something into a plateau's surface and reported them to the NPS hotline.
Karen Wright and Paula Corrette, the two photographers, were enjoying the views and taking pictures around Moran Point when they noticed the men.
"It looked like they were writing something. And in looking at some of the photos closer, you could see that they were scratching something on the surface of the rock with another rock," Wright told Fox 10 Phoenix. "We yelled to the kids. I don't know how old they are, but we yelled to them and told them to quit and told them it was illegal, and they ignored us and kept going. The second boy started writing and stood up, took a picture of it, and at that point, we decided to leave. We didn't want to confront them."
Although this happened in late July, the NPS is still investigating, hoping that the clear photos will lead to some justice. Wright hopes that this will inspire others to come forward not only with information about this vandalism, but about any others they may witness too.
"Of course it's not the first time it was done," she told FOX 10. "Right there in front of us as we were taking pictures, there was spray-painted graffiti right in front of us. But I think what's important is for people to know that they can report this and that with more eyes and more people willing to say something, hopefully these people can be caught."
If you have any information on who these men are or see anything in the future similar to what they did, don't hesitate to reach out to the NPS Investigative Services. You can submit an online tip, call or text 888-653-0009, or email [email protected].
It's crazy to think that people still need to be reminded NOT to do this sort of thing. Even the smallest actions can deteriorate the health of these natural spaces, and it's not like the Earth needs any help deteriorating any faster. Natural areas, and specifically our prized national parks, deserve respect. They're places for hiking through canyons or observing wildlife, not conducting yourself like an immature child who doesn't know better. If you are in a national park with the purpose of vandalizing or otherwise disrupting anything, you're in need of a reprioritization of your decision making.
To learn more about how we can do better to conserve our world's most beautiful natural landscapes, visit Leave No Trace's website.