The National Park Service announced Wednesday that it’s investigating reports of vandalism in at least 10 national parks in five western states. The news arose after photos of the “art” were uploaded to Instagram.
The graffiti appears in parks in Arizona, Utah, Oregon, California, and Colorado, including Yosemite, Zion, and Death Valley, among others. According to Modern Hiker, Casey Nocket, operating under the Instagram handle “creepytings” and signing her handiwork with the same name, was on a trip out West from New York when she allegedly decided to leave her mark on several parks in acrylic paint. The Instagram photos show a bald-headed face with a snake tongue near Yosemite’s Mist Trail, a blue-haired face on an outcropping above Crater Lake, and a faux-prehistoric-art face on a rock atop Death Valley’s Telescope Peak.
“My first reaction was, ‘This is awful, and this person needs to be stopped,’” Modern Hiker editor Casey Schreiner told USA Today.
The images began circulating after someone posted one of the photos on Reddit. A Yosemite ranger saw the post, and then asked people to email him with any other sightings or information.
Nocket’s Instagram account has since been deleted, but the National Park Service is investigating, and she could face federal misdemeanor charges, according to USA Today. Inquisitr reports that Nocket could also have to pay severe fines to cover the cost of removing the acrylic.
“We take the issue of vandalism seriously,” NPS said in its statement. “National parks exist to preserve and protect our nation’s natural, cultural, and historic heritage for both current and future generations. Vandalism is a violation of the law and it also damages and sometimes destroys often irreplaceable treasures that belong to all Americans.”