February 7, 2013
Public Affair Office, 865-436-1207
On January 31st, Great Smoky Mountains National Park visitors reported the defacement of natural stone features and masonry stone walls at the Sinks. The Sinks is a popular roadside waterfall located on Little River Road between Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area and the Townsend Wye. Vandals spray painted pictures and profanity along the walkways, stone walls, and natural rock throughout the area.
"This was not a minor act of tagging by someone with a can of spray paint," said Chief Ranger Clay Jordan. "The amount of damage maliciously caused to this beautiful setting is disheartening." As such, Jordan announced that the Park is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible for this vandalism. Rangers report that the graffiti includes references to "Wolfgang" and "Lumberjack".
In 2010, the Park renovated the Sinks parking area including the construction of new stone masonry retaining walls, cut-stone walkways, and a new overlook area with a masonry wall and handrail so that all visitors, including the disabled, are able to safely view the waterfall and rapids. The Sinks is a popular destination for visitors throughout the year who stop to view the 15-foot cascade. Park employees spent several hours removing the offensive language and images using a variety of techniques to remove the paint without causing further resource damage.
It is unlawful to disturb or deface natural and historic resources within the Park. Perpetrators may be sentenced up to 6 months in jail and or fined up to $5,000. Anyone with information as to the possible identity of the vandals is encouraged to call the tip hotline at 865-436-1580.