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Charges possible for toppled ancient Utah rock formation

By Michelle L. Price

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:57 a.m. HST, Oct 19, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY >> Authorities are mulling whether to press charges against a Boy Scouts leader who purposely knocked over an ancient Utah desert rock formation and against the two men who cheered him on after they posted video of the incident online.

Two of the men, who were leading a group of teenage Boy Scouts on a trip, said the top of the rock formation was loose and they feared it was dangerous.

"This is about saving lives," Dave Hall, who shot the video, told The Associated Press on Friday. "One rock at a time."

The rock formation at Goblin Valley State Park is about 170 million years old, Utah State Parks spokesman Eugene Swalberg said. The central Utah park is dotted with thousands of the eerie, mushroom-shaped sandstone formations.

In a video shot last Friday and posted on Facebook, Glenn Taylor of Highland can be seen wedging himself between a formation and a boulder to knock a large rock off the formation's top. Taylor and his two companions can then be seen cheering, high-fiving and dancing.

"This is highly, highly inappropriate," Swalberg told the Salt Lake Tribune. "This is not what you do at state parks. It's disturbing and upsetting."

Hall, who also is a scoutmaster from Highland, said some of their Scouts were jumping on the structures and they noticed a large boulder atop one of them was loose.

"My conscience won't let me walk away knowing that kids could die," Hall said.

While safety was their motivation, Hall said, they reacted with high-fives and cheers in the video because of the adrenaline that came with what he described as a "crazy, exciting moment."

Boy Scouts of America spokesman Deron Smith confirmed the men are members of the organization, and condemned their actions. He said in a statement that the organization is "shocked and disappointed by this reprehensible behavior" and is reviewing the matter to see if action needs to be taken.

Swalberg said State Parks authorities are conducting a criminal investigation. The Emery County Attorney's Office also is reviewing the incident to determine if charges should be filed.

Hall said the men now realize they should have contacted park rangers. He said they are sorry for the damage they caused and for any embarrassment they brought to the Boy Scouts.

But, Hall added, "One more rock falling to the ground is not going to destroy the beauty of the park. Eventually, the erosion brings all of them down."

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RichardCory wrote:
What's the big deal here? That the formation was 170 million years old? So what? All matter in the universe can neither be created nor destroyed. So technically all the atoms in everything everywhere are the exact same age. It's a rock. Don't even care.
on October 19,2013 | 04:58AM
nitpikker wrote:
its because of people with your attitude that graffiti and vandalism is so rampant today.
on October 19,2013 | 06:40AM
all_fed_up wrote:
Chronic LSD or Meth?
on October 19,2013 | 07:29AM
allie wrote:
Boy Scouts are not at all admirable anymore
on October 19,2013 | 08:10AM
pakeheat wrote:
Adding homosexuals into the club will make it better, LOL.
on October 19,2013 | 08:25AM
localguy wrote:
Every other organization has them. Your point? Didn't think so.
on October 19,2013 | 10:14AM
Anonymous wrote:
Must be one yourself. I take it you're quite proud of that. Now get back to work at the Sausage Factory!
on October 19,2013 | 01:28PM
Euphrosyne, you are going to make a rediculous statement after 1 incident with the boy scouts over the past 200 years. You might as well say that people from ND are not educated anymore! You really should seek counseling for your paranoia, and just plain lack of respect for people of any sort other than your own sorry self. The BSA is an excellent youth group bound by thousands of good young men and women who educate our youth in the world of moral and ethical values. Unfortunately, there will always be those people who dont quite get it.
on October 19,2013 | 08:28AM
honopic wrote:
Go back to ND.
on October 19,2013 | 09:41AM
localguy wrote:
These two clueless baboozes are from allie's home state. hmmmmmmm
on October 19,2013 | 10:15AM
Anonymous wrote:
I bet you're pretty good at that "Disappearing Weenie" trick. Oh, ummm, there are a lot of people here in Hawai'i from North Dakota. Every state has 'em. And your point? Didn't think so, and neither do you...Think, that is.
on October 19,2013 | 01:31PM
Tony96822 wrote:
Yeah, what's the big deal? Just strip'em and cover'em with limestone powder and make them stand on the mounds. They'd blend right in. Technically they are all atoms form another mother but probably not all the same age. Mud over matter. Another brown eye for Scouting. Damn. But they'd probably "Do their Best, but be Prepared".
on October 19,2013 | 06:11AM
manakuke wrote:
Criminal charges due plus 25 demerit badges?
on October 19,2013 | 07:01AM
st1d wrote:
just keep him out of pisa.
on October 19,2013 | 07:09AM
steveoctober wrote:
A major disgrace to the boy scouts organization.
on October 19,2013 | 07:26AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Not surprised that its a Morman faction. These are the guys who have worked diligently to remove all gay individuals from the organization.
on October 19,2013 | 08:06AM
pakeheat wrote:
So you're are saying allowing gay individuals will make it better?
on October 19,2013 | 08:27AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Clearly you know nothing about the boy scouts. There have always been gay scouts and leaders. This factional religious group is just bringing to light that they are present and attempting to remove them throughout the entire organization. One of the best scout leaders in Hawaii was gay and worked up at Pupukea every summer. And yes, he did make it better...
on October 19,2013 | 09:19AM
Anonymous wrote:
That's a pretty presumptuous statement. Here's some news that you may have missed while living in that cave, aka "Mommy and Daddy's Basement", for the past 40 years: There are actually people living in Utah who are NOT Mormon. Come back and make more comments when you actually know what you're talking about. Until then, I'd advise you to stay off the S-A forum if you don't want to be exposed once again for the ignoramus that you are, livinginhawaii. Aloha!
on October 19,2013 | 01:38PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
Anonymous, I'm surprised how vicious your attacks are. Is that why you post anonymously?
on October 21,2013 | 04:54AM
allie wrote:
on October 19,2013 | 08:10AM
Rickyboy wrote:
Hope it was worth their seconds of fame. Wonder how that troop turns out with those guiding. Why were the scouts jumping on the rocks.
on October 19,2013 | 10:14AM
localguy wrote:
Talk about examples for "Red Neck Baboozes" these clowns are such losers. On the news they tried to spin their utter incompetence as "Saving lives, this is what we do." Right. Direct violation of BSA polices you swore to uphold. Not your property, you damage it, see nothing wrong? Clearly we need to ensure these baboozes are neutered immediately. No more of their clueless spawn allowed. Word is the BSA is going to fire them, can't have such losers in their organization.
on October 19,2013 | 10:14AM
katana77 wrote:
Couldn't Scout leaders teach the kids to walk around the dangerous area?
on October 19,2013 | 11:19AM
Anonymous wrote:
I can just imagine them going back to the camp, busting out the cold pack of Keystone Light, and talking about what a great thing they did. Then as the sweat evaporates from their matted back hair, they'll start the contest to see who can make the weirdest noises with their armpit and the palm of their hand.
on October 19,2013 | 11:45AM
hikine wrote:
A rock that's been standing for millions of years and only took less than 30 secs for someone to topple it. The public has been deprived of nature's wonder. Now copy cats will invade the national parks and ruin it for everyone else. Hope these uneducated bozos will be fined big time. This is not an example to set to a boy scout.
on October 19,2013 | 12:11PM
niimi wrote:
Mormon without the 2nd M.
on October 19,2013 | 01:47PM
sak wrote:
After the boy scouts that were jumping on the formations loosened one of them, we thought it dangerous, so we knocked it over, what's the big deal? We were saving lives! Yeah Right!
on October 19,2013 | 02:19PM
yhls wrote:
Bunch of idiots.
on October 19,2013 | 03:17PM
Mahinalu wrote:
Something really bad is going to happen to those men!
on October 19,2013 | 03:35PM
false wrote:
Too bad the rock didn't come loose and crush the dumb bozo Glen Taylor. That would have been perfect karma.
on October 19,2013 | 05:16PM
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