Preventing vandalism in our parks

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) With the shutdown over, national parks and public federal lands are open again, but as people flock to their favorite outdoor spots, the government agencies that control them are asking for just a little bit of respect.

Vandalism of public lands brings with it a hefty price tag and often hard physical labor for those tasked with refurbishing our precious landmarks.

It is a hard thing to imagine, doing something as small as pushing a rock can permanently change or destroy something that's been around for hundreds, even millions of years... and that's exactly what a group of men in Utah have done.

A cell phone video of the men, both Boy Scout leaders, shoving over a rock formation at Goblin Valley State Park in Utah has gone viral.

Bureau of Land Management officials here in Grand Junction says similar behavior on federal lands can lead to severe consequences.

"They can be as small as $500 and 90 days imprisonment on up to $30,000 dollars and two years imprisonment," says BLM spokesman Chris Joyner. "We take it very seriously."

The penalties differ depending on the agency that runs the site, but Joyner says he speaks for every agency when he says, "We want people to go out and enjoy public lands but they need to do so responsibly."

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