Two men sentenced for thermal trespass in Yellowstone

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. — Two men have been sentenced to 10 days in jail for trespassing after they were caught walking on the cone of Old Faithful Geyser this fall.

Eric Schefflin, 20, of Lakewood, Colorado, and Ryan Goetz, 25, of Woodstock, New York, pleaded guilty to trespassing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman at the Yellowstone Justice Center December 5.

Schefflin and Goetz were spotted walking on the cone of Old Faithful at around 8:30 p.m. September 10. Park employees and visitors reported the duo to dispatch, and a ranger later found and cited them.

Schefflin and Goetz pleaded guilty to the violation of thermal trespass. On September 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.

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

The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and scalding water sits just below the surface. Boardwalks are there for a reason, and visitors must stay on them at all times.

Schefflin and Goetz will each serve 10 days in jail, pay $540 in restitution, and serve five years of unsupervised probation. They have also been banned from Yellowstone National Park for five years.

Recent Posts

Governor and Health Officer ease restrictions on restaurants

WYOMING — Governor Mark Gordon has worked with the Wyoming Department of Health to ease… Read More

6 hours ago

Moose-Wilson Road closing Thursday morning for grading

JACKSON, Wyo. — The unpaved section of the Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park… Read More

7 hours ago

Woman injured after horse fall in south Fall Creek area

JACKSON, Wyo. — Teton County Search and Rescue responded to another horse-related injury after a woman… Read More

8 hours ago

Essential Information for the 2020/21 JHMR Ski Season

TETON VILLAGE, Wyo. — With winter approaching in the Tetons, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR)… Read More

9 hours ago

TSD 401 Board responds to COVID spikes

DRIGGS, Ida. — At a special board meeting Monday night, the trustees of Teton School… Read More

9 hours ago

Teton County held as example of community that fought COVID better than most

JACKSON, Wyo. — A recent story by U.S. News & World Report used Teton County as an… Read More

10 hours ago