This is almost becoming a regular TreeHugger feature, the wanton destruction of (pick one) trees, natural monuments, air quality, whatever, just because some people think that it is fun. The latest is an iconic sandstone formation known as "the duckbill" at Cape Kiwanda in Oregon:
The state park people initially thought that it was natural erosion that took it down, noting that "The rubble serves as a sobering reminder of the ever present dangers of our fragile coastal rocks and cliffs." Then a video turned up: (warning: swear word in sound track)
The guy behind the camera phone, David Kalas, asked them why they did it:
The first thing that came out of his mouth was that, oh his buddy broke his leg on it and it was a safety hazard and they were doing everybody a favor by knocking it down, you know which frustrated me because nobody forced them to climb on top of the rock.
He continues in Fox News:
He says what’s disappointing is how significant that one rock is to so many people. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have taken their picture on it over the years. “People got married on top of the rock, got their engagement photos on top of the rock,” Kalas said. "They can’t share that moment any more with their future children or their grandchildren or anyone like that, it will always just now be a memory," he added.
Oregon State Police is now on the case, as is the recreation department. "The department takes vandalism of a state park's natural features seriously." The maximum fine? $435.
In an earlier post on vandalism in National Parks, Jaymi wrote that social media might be part of the problem:
Is showing off on social media part of the problem behind a recent and serious rise in vandalism of wildspace? Many state parks have been hit much harder than usual with graffiti and destruction, and some wonder if the ability to show off one's "work" via platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram could be adding fuel to the fire.
But I cannot help but think that the opposite is true, now that people like David Kalas are using phones and social media to record the vandals. These days, if you do something stupid, everybody is going to know.