A Hudson Valley resident was one of two men who will spend time behind bars after being banned from Yellowstone National Park for trespassing in a forbidden area.
Ulster County resident Ryan Goetz, 25, of Woodstock, and Colorado resident Eric Schefflin, 20, pleaded guilty to trespassing on the cone of Old Faithful Geyser at the National Park, and were sentenced to 10 days in jail and have been banned from the park for five years.
Both men were also fined $500 and face five years of unsupervised probation.
On Sept. 10 last year, employees and visitors reportedly saw the pair walking on the cone of Old Faithful Geyser and reported it to park employees who took Goetz and Schefflin into custody.
Park officials noted that “the ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface. Visitors must always remain on boardwalks and exercise extreme caution around thermal features."
According to the Code of Federal Regulations, “foot travel in all thermal areas and within the Yellowstone Canyon between the Upper Falls and Inspiration Point must be confined to boardwalks or trails that are maintained for such travel and are marked by official signs.”
In a statement, Chief Ranger Sarah Davis said, “visitors must realize that walking on thermal features is dangerous, damages the resource, and illegal. Law enforcement officers take this violation seriously. Yellowstone National Park also appreciates the court for recognizing the impact thermal trespass can have on these amazing features.”
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