Utah Boy Scout rock toppling outrage

In Utah’s scenic Goblin Valley State Park a couple of US scouts filmed themselves interacting with a hoodoo - toppling the ancient rock formation as can be seen in the vid here. From that link, criminal charges are being considered and a lot of people, including the park service and Boy Scouts are very pissed off and the lads involved have even received death threats (!).

The individuals involved say that the rock was loose anyway and posed a serious hazard, so they just helped it on its way in the name of saving lives (although given the tone of the vid I’d say they did it for the lulz and quickly came up with that, that’s just my take). Anyway, I want to hear your take - were they right or wrong in toppling a 170 million year old formation and should criminal charges be filed?

They were wrong and should face charges. Even granting that the rock posed a safety threat they should have informed Park Services whose job it is to make such assessments and take appropriate action. I will go so far as to say that if they can prove the rock formation was unsafe then that should be reflected in any sentencing.

Meant to say the BBC vids haven’t worked in the past, if that’s the case you can see full video of the incident in question on YouTube.

The fact that the rock didn’t easily topple over is proof enough that it wasn’t an immediate risk to anyone.

I’m also sure there were other rocks out there that were perched just as precariously. Why just single that one as unsafe?

Jackasses, all of 'em.

They were wrong and should face criminal charges. I doubt any half-awake judge would buy their half-baked ex post facto excuse.

They were wrong. But what could you charge them with? Destruction of property? Vandalism? I don’t think they deserve to have their lives ruined or anything, but I’d be fine with seeing a $500 fine slapped on all of them or something. Community service, maybe.

I’d be surprised if there weren’t at least one crime they could be charged with. (ill leave the particulars to someone versed in US/utah law.)

Sending some time cleaning up the mess that other idiots inevitably leave in natural areas seems apt.

The scouts in question are sticking to their story;

What they’re selling, the authorities ain’t buying. The scouts acknowledge at least they were stupid not to inform park authorities while maintaining they were in the right.

Incidentally Utah has some of the most spectacular scenery I’ve ever seen, between Zion and the place in question which I’d not even heard of before today you people out there are incredibly fortunate.

Wrong, of course. The reason this park exists at all is the precariousness of those formations. They were reveling in a moment of collective stupidity.

I’m thinking summer and holiday weekends cleaning latrines for the park service for the next couple years would be a good place to start.

Five hundred dollars? For vandalizing national park property that’s a million years old?

Five hundred dollars is what you’re fined when you spray paint your name on a wall in some alley. These guys should get a serious punishment.

If it were up to me, I’d consider a $100,000 fine and a year in jail appropriate.

If they were concerned for the scouts’ safety why didn’t they avoid this park or avoid the precarious rock section of the park? Their excuse isn’t plausible.

The fine should be to put the rock back where it was. With the same tools they used to topple it.

Speaking as devil’s advocate (as you see in the OP, I don’t necessarily buy their motive speech in the vid), their argument is rather that since the rock was very loose anyway while they were there they toppled it so that it could not be blown down and injure someone in the future.

Because the likelihood of a child standing downwind from that precarious boulder in gale force winds stronger than the oaf in the video is one in a what with how many commas and zeroes?

They should be executed because, I gather from the thread title, they moved a rock. Kill them all. Or at least ruin their lives as I assume it was a really cool rock.

Here’s what said oaf has to say on that very question;

That link also says they were acting as youth leaders for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as Boy Scout leaders.

I watched the video, he had to push pretty hard. It was a senseless act of vandalism and not consistent with a stewardship role. They should be fined for vandalism and removed from the Scout role for providing a bad example and tarnishing the name of the organization. Community service and a little education about natural history couldn’t hurt.

But if you look at it from the perspective of these chuckleheads, there wasn’t a cow in sight to be tipped, what else was there to do?

Also, many of those rocks formations look a bit phallic. They’re just asking to be abused.

Yeah, I’d be a lifer if they knew how many thing I’d knocked over when I was a kid.

A Sisyphean task. Sounds good to me.