Two Men Jailed for Trespassing on Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park

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Two men trespassing on Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park on Tuesday, September 10th, 2019. image: Kimberly Guilliams

Two men were recently sentenced for trespassing on the cone of Old Faithful Geyser, a closed thermal area at Yellowstone National Park, WY, reports Explore Big Sky.

Eric Schefflin, 20, of Lakewood, CO, and Ryan Goetz, 25, of Woodstock, NY, appeared in court on December 5, 2019, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman at the Yellowstone Justice Center in Mammoth Hot Springs, WY. Both men pleaded guilty to the violation of thermal trespass.

On September 10, 2019, at about 8:30 pm, employees and visitors witnessed two individuals walking on the cone of Old Faithful Geyser and reported it to park dispatch. A ranger contacted and cited Schefflin and Goetz.

Sentencing for each included:

  • 10 days of incarceration
  • $540 in restitution
  • Five years of unsupervised probation
  • Five year ban from Yellowstone National Park

“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,” said Chief Ranger Sarah Davis.

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