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“Artist” Defaces National Parks With Graffiti Paintings, Including Yosemite

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Courtesy of Modern Hiker
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Credit Courtesy of Modern Hiker
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One of the photos discovered near the Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park.

It’s been said that our national parks are treasures that belong to all Americans. In recent weeks one artist has been on a nationwide quest documenting her travels to these locations of immense natural beauty. And like many she shared photos of her journey online, from Zion and Bryce Canyon to Yosemite and Sequoia Kings Canyon. 

But her photos weren’t of the parks’ natural beauty, instead they documented her graffiti art painted onto rock walls, in some cases actually showing her in the act of defacing America’s grandest scenic vistas. The photos on Instagram and Tumblr eventually drew the attention of Casey Schreiner, the editor of Modern Hiker.  

Valley Edition Host Joe Moore spoke with Schreiner recently to talk about the vandalism. Here is a excerpt from Schreiner's post on Oct. 21. 

"Our friend Rebecca at Calipidder alerted us via a Facebook post to a woman named Casey Nocket who had traveled to the west coast from New York for a few weeks. Ms. Nocket had been enjoying her time in the outdoors so much that she decided to document her trip on Instagram. And apparently Nocket was so moved by all the natural beauty she saw that she just had to paint all over it."

News agencies across the country have picked up the story and the National Park Service is investigating the vandalism.

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Credit Courtesy of Modern Hiker
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The painting found on Death Valley’s Telescope Peak.

The NPS released this comment. 

"While we can’t discuss details of a case under investigation, we take the issue of vandalism seriously. National parks exist to preserve and protect our nation’s natural, cultural and historic heritage for both current and future generations. Vandalism is a violation of the law and it also damages and sometimes destroys often irreplaceable treasures that belong to all Americans." "There are forums for artistic expression in national parks because national parks inspire artistic creativity. These images are outside that forum and outside the law."

In California the parks affected are Yosemite National Park and Death Valley National Park. The park service is waiting for information from Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park and Joshua Tree National Park. 

Joe Moore is the President and General Manager of Valley Public Radio. During his tenure, he's helped lead the station through major programming changes and the COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining the station's financial health. From 2010-2018 he served as the station's Director of Program Content. In that role, he also served as the host of Valley Edition, and helped launch and grow the station's award-winning local news department. He is a Fresno native and a graduate of California State University, Fresno.
Ezra David Romero is an award-winning radio reporter and producer. His stories have run on Morning Edition, Morning Edition Saturday, Morning Edition Sunday, All Things Considered, Here & Now, The Salt, Latino USA, KQED, KALW, Harvest Public Radio, etc.
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