Home » News
Home » News

Panel kills bill to criminalize destruction of geo features

Published February 27, 2014 8:03 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In a split vote, a House panel killed a measure outlining criminal penalties for damaging natural features in Utah state parks.

Rep. Dixon Pitcher, R-Ogden, sponsored HB68 after two Scout leaders posted video of them toppling a geological formation in Goblin Valley State Park last spring. The incident sparked an international outcry and felony vandalism charges against the men.

But Utah has no law specific to the men's misconduct, prompting Pitcher to draft the legislation that would protect "any geological area, site, feature, or formation" located in a state park. It also would have established a way to calculate a value for such features.

The bill would have charged someone responsible for damage exceeding $1,500 with a third-degree felony.

But some lawmakers were concerned with how the bill would define a protected geological feature and said existing vandalism laws are enough.

"I'm not sure how far we are casting this net," said Rep. Roger Barrus, R-Centerville.

— Brian Maffly






Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
comments powered by Disqus