This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
About 20 years ago our Scout troop had a very close call at Goblin Valley. One of the small tunnels on the west side of the park collapsed moments after all the boys came out. Thirty seconds earlier and most or all of the six Scouts and their leaders would have been crushed to death.
The soil under most of the rock formations is extremely soft and subject to erosion. The sheer number of visitors to the park is escalating that erosion. I worry every time I see a photo of a smiling young person triumphantly on top of one of the balancing hoodoos that one of the formations is going to fall over and kill someone.
Glen Taylor ("Men may face felony charges after toppling Goblin Valley formation," Tribune, Oct. 17) was absolutely right when he admitted his error and poor judgment. But everyone needs to cut him some slack. The method was wrong but the result was correct.
I don't know the man, but as a parent I want my youth leaders, if they're going to err, to err on the side of safety. The danger is real and park rangers must carefully do what Taylor did, or some visitor will end up dead. That's much worse than Taylor's well-intentioned error.
Asael T. Sorensen