Two men were sentenced to 10 days in jail each for trespassing on the cone of Old Faithful geyser, Yellowstone National Park announced Thursday.
On the morning of Sept. 10, employees and visitors witnessed two people walking on the cone and reported it to park dispatch. A ranger contacted and cited Eric Schefflin, 20, of Lakewood, Colorado, and Ryan Goetz, 25, of Woodstock, New York.
Schefflin and Goetz appeared in court Dec. 5 at the Yellowstone Justice Center in Mammoth Hot Springs. Both men pleaded guilty to the violation of thermal trespass.
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In addition to jail time, the men each owe $540 in restitution, per U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman’s sentencing. They face five years of unsupervised probation and are banned from the park for that time.
“Visitors must realize that walking on thermal features is dangerous, damages the resource and (is) illegal,” chief ranger Sarah Davis said in the news release. “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.”
Yellowstone visitors are required to remain on boardwalks and use caution around thermal areas, as the ground is thin with scalding water just below it.