Two men cited for breaking the rules in Yellowstone National Park by walking across the cone of Old Faithful Geyser, pleaded guilty before a magistrate in Mammoth Hot Springs for the infraction.
Eric Schefflin, 20, of Lakewood, Colo., and Ryan Goetz, 25, of Woodstock, N.Y. were sentenced Dec. 5 to 10 days in jail, a five-year ban on their entering Yellowstone, five years of unsupervised probation and $540 in fines for the Sept. 10 incident.
The penalties were imposed by Magistrate Judge Mark Carman at the Yellowstone Justice Center. The men were guilty of thermal trespass.
At the time, the men were spotted by many visitors and employees as they walked on the cone and the situation was reported. A National Park Service ranger caught up to Schefflin and Goetz and issued a citation.
In a statement in response to the sentencing of the men, 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.”
Signs posted by the Park Service warn against trespassing on the fragile terrain to protect the environment and because of the danger to people from extraordinarily high water and steam temperatures.