POWELL (WNE) — A Yellowstone National Park visitor from Connecticut was ordered to spend a week in jail after she was caught walking on thermal ground in the Norris Geyser Basin last month.
Madeline S. Casey, 26, was with two other people who made their way up to a thermal pool and geyser on July 22. Casey and one other person got off the boardwalk and walked on thermal ground — prompting concerned visitors to take photos and videos of the three, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming said in a Wednesday news release.
Park rangers cited Casey for a misdemeanor offense of foot travel in a thermal area. On Aug. 18, she pleaded guilty. In addition to the seven-day stint in jail, U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman of Mammoth Hot Springs banned Casey from Yellowstone for the next two years and ordered her to pay a $1,000 fine, $40 in fees and $1,000 to the Yellowstone Forever Geological Resource Fund.
Federal prosecutors noted the Norris Geyser Basin is well-marked with signs telling visitors to stay on the boardwalks and noting the dangers of walking on the fragile terrain that sits above scalding waters.
“For those who lack a natural ability to appreciate the dangerousness of crusty and unstable ground, boiling water, and scalding mud, the National Park Service does a darn good job of warning them to stay on the boardwalk and trail in thermal areas,” Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Murray of Cheyenne said in a statement.