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Archive 2013 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park
  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #1 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park
I hope all the vandalism I have personally witnessed does not become a trend in defunded US National Parks. Lately, I have seen signs of vandalism in Death Valley and more recently in Joshua Tree.

CNN posted an article about it. Here is an excerpt:

"Hundreds of acres of winding trails and giant boulders are closed at a popular site in Joshua Tree National Park. And social media is playing a role.
The California park is battling an outbreak of graffiti splashed across its vast rock formations. Graffiti on boulders at Joshua Tree National Park.
Vandals are posting pictures of their graffiti on social media sites, according to officials, making the illegal handiwork more popular and exacerbating the problem..."



Apr 14, 2013 at 04:53 PM
harshaj1
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p.1 #2 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


Too bad. Two of my favorite parks.
Harsha



Apr 14, 2013 at 05:15 PM
JaneG
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p.1 #3 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


This makes me so sad


Apr 14, 2013 at 05:16 PM
lukeb
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p.1 #4 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


They need to catch these $%&*@#*$ and make a public example out of them.


Apr 14, 2013 at 05:18 PM
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p.1 #5 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


Well, is that really something new? Once "secret" travel locations become well known and vastly popular over a short period of time and get swamped with people - including vandals. I've seen far too many beautiful places going down the drain because so-called travellers, tourists and photographers were talking too much (I'm "guilty" here, too, by the way). Pacific City in Oregon is just one example, Cape Tribulation in Australia another.

What once were only the pesky scouts of the tourist industry, are now social media and forums and boards on the web. Underfunding of national parks and a lack of protection, and people who find it cool to destroy landmarks just add to the general problem.

-Phil



Apr 14, 2013 at 05:27 PM
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p.1 #6 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


It's disgusting of course. If the vandals use social media, then hunt them down and prosecute!

It's been proven in studies that graffiti looses it's relevance when it is immediately removed. NYC did that with their subways, pulling cars off the track the same day if 'tagged'. It worked. Perhaps any site posting vandalism like this can be taken down too.

Last thought: There's a lot of good folks who love JT. Perhaps a citizen's group can do removal & repair. Some decades ago we had conflict between the rock climbers and moto dudes in Santee. Someone poured motor oil all over the favorite boulders to defeat the climbers. Instead we showed up in force with Simple Green, a water truck and lot's of elbow grease and scrubbed our boulders clean. The local media picked it up. It never happened again.



Apr 14, 2013 at 05:37 PM
sb in ak
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p.1 #7 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


Too bad; both awesome parks. Hopefully they can get control over it.


Apr 14, 2013 at 05:49 PM
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p.1 #8 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


It's shameful that these self serving, not accounts get the opportunity to even be close to something nature provides for us.
Although it's not a new thing, people these days absolutely know it is not acceptable and they are causing damage. The penalty is not enough. Shame on them.
We have the same despicable people in other places. Those who refuse to clean up their trash, throw cigarette butts, leave cans and you name it after them. They are too spoiled to clean up after themselves.
It is dependent on us to refuse to allow them to continue this way. We have cameras to provide proof and ability to turn them in to authorities. Do it, they deserve it.



Apr 14, 2013 at 06:10 PM
Fstr.
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p.1 #9 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


Anyone who would do such a thing is beyond idiot status and needs to be fined heavily and jailed, no parole.


Apr 14, 2013 at 06:29 PM
Callisto
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p.1 #10 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


One wonders what other things are disregarded by those who can make little statements defacing the beauty for everyone else? Those who put themselves ahead of all are the most shallow. I feel so sorry that we have such sickos among us.


Apr 14, 2013 at 07:52 PM
 

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gdanmitchell
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p.1 #11 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


While I don't directly blame photographers for this particular incident, I think that we might all reconsider the specificity with which we describe some of the locations of our photographs. I'll try to keep this somewhat short, since I've gone on about it at great length here before.

In the pre-Internet era, there was little harm in sharing certain details about most places where we might do photography. Sharing typically meant telling those looking at your prints about where you shot them, or perhaps mentioning this at your local photo club, or possibly discussing these places with a friend or two that you knew and could trust.

Unfortunately, today even the most innocent sharing of unnecessary details reaches a much, much wider audience. The information is captured, collated, tagged, sorted, key-worded, and archived by search engines. While we {i]feel like our sharing is not different from what it was 20 years ago... it is. The internet has changed everything.

Friends of mine convinced me to change my tune - at least for the most part - a few years back. (One story is found here: http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2010/07/03/how-much-information-is-too-much-information) Shortly after that, I shared a photograph of a particular formation along with the name and general location information, and I was dismayed when someone who saw it shared with me a photograph of someone standing atop this fragile thing as if it were a carnival ride.

Other photographer friends have pointed out that in many cases the specific identification of the place is not what makes the image a good photograph or not. The photograph possesses whatever intrinsic beauty or power it possesses whether we name it or reveal the details of the location or not. (There are a few exceptions.) Why name the place or tell how to find it?

I realized that for me, the answer to that question was, to a certain extent, ego and not photographic. I liked to show my authority and knowledge and experience by telling about the places where I had shot. (I still do - I love to tell stories - can't help myself! ;-) But if my photographs "work" for those who see them, they should work as photographs, whether or not you know which lake or which mountain is in the frame.

I don't claim perfection, and I admit there are gray areas. A bit more than a week ago I shot for the better part of a week in Death Valley, as I do once or twice very year. I'll name the locations of some of the photographs if they are places that are already so well known that I'm not really changing anything by doing so and the name of the spot is important to understanding the photograph. On the other hand, my photograph of a specific location should be just as effective - perhaps even more effective - if I simply call it "Sandstorm and Dunes" rather than naming the dunes or telling people how to find them.

Also during my Death Valley trip I drove into some relatively remote places where only a small percentage of the park's visitors are likely to go. I am always on the lookout for things like petroglyphs, and I found several. But in each instance I also found more contemporary scratchings by morons who feel that it is funny or something to scratch the immortal word "John" into the rock next to something created centuries ago by peoples we can't even quite identify.

Some discretion is in order.

Thanks,

Dan



Apr 14, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Sunny Sra
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p.1 #12 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


PhilPDX wrote:
Well, is that really something new? Once "secret" travel locations become well known and vastly popular over a short period of time and get swamped with people - including vandals. I've seen far too many beautiful places going down the drain because so-called travellers, tourists and photographers were talking too much (I'm "guilty" here, too, by the way). Pacific City in Oregon is just one example, Cape Tribulation in Australia another.

What once were only the pesky scouts of the tourist industry, are now social media and forums and boards on the web. Underfunding of national parks and a lack of
...Show more

Most of these vandals are probably kids who went on a weekend "family" trip. As things go today...people don't feel responsible for their kids actions.



Apr 14, 2013 at 09:21 PM
dswiger
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p.1 #13 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


Fstr. wrote:
Anyone who would do such a thing is beyond idiot status and needs to be fined heavily and jailed, no parole.


I have a better idea. Take a picture of the culprits graffiti & have it printed on their face & body with something permanent.

I am afraid this is more about a loss of civility, respect and knowledge than the funding for the parks.
Social media seems to have been the match for this "gasoline".




Apr 14, 2013 at 09:22 PM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #14 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


Just when you think the US couldn't sink any lower. What a disgrace! Graffiti in our cities is huge issue, but vandalising nature is a low act; we normally leave that job to big business and developers


Apr 14, 2013 at 10:46 PM
Copypaste
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p.1 #15 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


That's such a shame.


Apr 14, 2013 at 11:15 PM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #16 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


As Einstein said.. human stupidity is only truly infinite thing in universe.


Apr 14, 2013 at 11:21 PM
BenV
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p.1 #17 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


They should allow us to shoot the people who vandalize stuff. And I don't mean with a camera.


Apr 15, 2013 at 12:58 AM
DanBrown
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p.1 #18 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


Mescalamba wrote:
As Einstein said.. human stupidity is only truly infinite thing in universe.


Actually, he said "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." He was acknowledging some doubt, not certainty about stupidity being the only one.



Apr 15, 2013 at 02:10 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #19 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


Fred Miranda wrote:
... defunded US National Parks....


You get what you pay for.



Apr 15, 2013 at 02:16 AM
patrick_morris
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p.1 #20 · Vandalism at Joshua Tree National Park


You guys don't have any more or less of a right to go to these places then anyone else does. The elitist attitudes I'm seeing here is repulsive.


Apr 15, 2013 at 02:28 AM
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