Visitor Issued Hefty Fine for Off Boardwalk Travel in Thermal Area

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Date: June 15, 2016
Contact: Morgan Warthin  , (307)344-2015

A Chinese national was fined $1,000 and a $30 court processing fee for walking off the boardwalk in the Mammoth Hot Springs thermal area Tuesday, June 14, 2016. A visitor observed and reported that the individual walked on the terrace formations near Liberty Cap and collected thermal water. The visitor also reported seeing the individual break through the fragile travertine crust.  

A park ranger took the witness’s statement, photos, and location of the violation.  

The subsequent law enforcement investigation identified the individual who stated that he did not read the safety information given to him at the park entrance. He also admitted to collecting hot springs water. 

A federal violation notice requiring a mandatory appearance in the Yellowstone Justice Center Court was issued for off boardwalk travel in a thermal area. 

Park rangers appreciate the willingness of the witness to document and report the violation. 

Park employees call on all visitors to protect their park and protect themselves. Regulations to stay on designated trails and boardwalks in thermal areas are for visitor safety and the safety of the exceptional park natural resources. Without visitor cooperation, park natural wonders will continue to be damaged and more individuals may be injured or killed. It is a violation of federal regulations to collect any park resources.

For information on safety around thermal features, visit

Last updated: June 15, 2016

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