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2 sentenced to 10 days in jail for thermal trespass violations in Yellowstone

Natalie Nix/MGN Online

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. (KIFI/KIDK) - Two men were sentenced for trespassing on the cone of Old Faithful Geyser, a closed thermal area last month.

Eric Schefflin, 20, of Lakewood, Colorado, and Ryan Goetz, 25, of Woodstock, New York, appeared in court on Dec. 5, 2019, 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 Sept. 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.

Sentencing for each included 10 days of incarceration, $540 in restitution, five years of unsupervised probation and a five-year ban from Yellowstone National Park.

“Visitors must realize that walking on thermal features is dangerous, damages the resource, and illegal," Chief Ranger Sarah Davis said. "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."

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