Please avid travelers, don’t throw golf balls or anything else at the majesty that is the Grand Canyon in hopes of potentially going viral. And if you do – expect a fine.
According to an article yesterday, as well as a post on the Grand Canyon National Park Service’s Instagram New York TimesKatie Sigmond, a popular TikTok and Instagram influencer who frequently uploads content about modeling, training, and golf, posted a clip on Snapchat on October 26 showing her smashing a golf ball off a ledge of the Grand Canyon. Aspect New York Times According to reports, the TikTok star was initially accused of littering, throwing items into the canyon, and creating dangerous conditions with disorderly behavior – all of which include a total maximum fine of $5,000 and jail terms of up to six months.
However, an out-of-court settlement Arizona Republic It turns out that the influencer just made a deal to pay $285.
The video, which has since been removed from the social media platform, shows part of Sigmond’s golf club flying out of his hands and into the abyss. The identity of the TikTok personality was quickly revealed after someone uploaded a screenshot of the video to r/NationalParks last month.
Next to a Snapchat screenshot of the National Park Service’s next Instagram post showing the offender’s golf club in the air, “Do we really need to say ‘Don’t throw golf balls in the Grand Canyon’?” “Throwing objects at the edge of the canyon is not only illegal, but can also endanger hikers and the wildlife that may be down there.”
[Related: Roam the Grand Canyon virtually with Google Maps.]
Unfortunately, the social media gimmick is only the latest in the persistent problem of visitors ravaging national parks like the Grand Canyon. Last year, the park posted a much more unhealthy issue on Facebook that has plagued NPS staff – people apparently have a habit of relieving themselves in inappropriate places. “Pro tip for proper trail etiquette: Remove ALL trash from the canyon – plan to use the toilets provided, bag or bury waste, and bring a bag to carry toilet paper,” NPS wrote on Facebook at the time. “It may bother you, but no one needs to handle your waste.”
Parks across the country have dealt with many similar problems over the past few years in response to the massive surge in visitor numbers following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As lockdowns and social distancing policies have been the norm for months, many Americans have turned to outdoor activities such as visiting nearby state and national parks, and unfortunately, some of these visitors failed to follow proper outdoor etiquette. So please leave your fireworks and golf clubs at home on your next trip to some of our country’s greatest natural wonders.