Joshua Tree National Park graffiti and its sharing on social media sites have ired visitors and park officials. Samantha Fox, a nearby resident said, “Things are not like the way it was before. Joshua Tree had an old world charm but now it has been defaced and what’s more people are even bragging about this in Facebook and so many other sites. What a shame!”
Vandals who deface Joshua tree go on to Facebook and other social networking sites, attracting other like-minded friends to follow suit, go to the spot and then do their handiwork as well, according to park officials. The graffiti begins with Rattlesnake Canyon and moves along the northern side of Wonderland of Rocks. Even Native American cultural spots have not been spared; all in all, 17 spots of the canyon have been defaced.
Law enforcement agents have now sprung to task and are investigating the graffiti defacement in Joshua Tree Park. From now, anyone convicted of defacing any national park would be sentenced to six months in prison and a fine of up to $5000. The penalty is even stricter for anyone who is convicted of defacing or vandalizing a historic site.
In a way, it has become easier for law enforcement agents to track down people who have posted graffiti on social networking sites. Graffti expert Dwight Waldo, who is a retired San Bernardino policeman who works with law enforcement across US says, “It is all about fame. These people want universal attention.” An interesting thing to note that vandalizing and graffiti defacement have been on a decline over the past decade but there has been a marked rise in the past few days, particularly in Joshua Tree National Park.
Joshua Tree National Park Pictures