August 10, 2016
Yellowstone National Park fined a Chinese national $1,000 and a $30 processing fee for walking off the boardwalk in the Mammoth Hot Springs thermal area Tuesday. In a news release the park says another visitor saw the man go off the boardwalk, walk on the terrace formations near Liberty Cap, break through some of the travertine crust and collect thermal water. The witness also took pictures, which a park ranger took, along with the witness's statement.
When Yellowstone investigated, they say the man admitted he didn't read the safety information he received at the park entrance. He also admitted to collecting the water from the hot springs.
The man must appear in the Yellowstone Justice Center Court for going off the boardwalk, which is illegal to do near thermal features in the park. It's also against federal rules to collect samples in the park.
Yellowstone says the rules are in place to keep visitors and staff safe, "Without visitor cooperation, park natural wonders will continue to be damaged and more individuals may be injured or killed," a news release said.