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Two men sentenced to 10 days in jail for trespassing near Old Faithful in Yellowstone

Montana

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The following is a news release from Yellowstone National Park.

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyoming — Two men were recently sentenced for trespassing on the cone of Old Faithful Geyser.

Eric Schefflin, 20, of Lakewood, Colorado, and Ryan Goetz, 25, of Woodstock, New York, appeared in court on Dec. 5, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman at the Yellowstone Justice Center in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming.

Schefflin and Goetz pleaded guilty to the violation of thermal trespass. On September 10, 2019, at about 8:30 p.m., employees and visitors witnessed two individuals walking on the cone of Old Faithful Geyser and reported it to park dispatch. A ranger contacted and cited Schefflin and Goetz.

RELATED | Men face criminal charges for walking over Old Faithful Geyser

Both men were sentenced to 10 days in jail, a $540 fine, five years of probation, and a five-year ban from Yellowstone National Park.

“Visitors must realize that walking on thermal features is dangerous, damages the resource, and (is) illegal. Law enforcement officers take this violation seriously. Yellowstone National Park also appreciates the court for recognizing the impact thermal trespass can have on these amazing features,” Chief Ranger Sarah Davis said.

The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface. Visitors must always remain on boardwalks and exercise extreme caution around thermal features. Learn more about safety in thermal areas at go.nps.gov/yellsafety.

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