Yosemite National Park Vandalized With Art?

Yosemite National Park is a home to all kinds of creatures and landscapes. Filled with mountain ranges, valleys, forest, and breathtaking waterfalls. Yosemite valley was a home to the Ahwahneechee Indians for thousands of years before settlers started arriving in the 1800s. The Ahwahnee people were pushed out and relocated to a reservation ending the tribal habitation of Yosemite Valley. The Gold Rush brought settlers from all over. Eventually tourists, photographers, and journalists started venturing the beautiful wilderness. Galen Clark was one the first settlers to create a village for people to come and experience the park. He saw the potential of the location and felt the need to protect the wilderness at all costs. Clark was one of the first individuals to put effort into declaring Yosemite a National Park. He felt these were necessary measures to protect the wilderness from human damage. In 1890, the Yosemite Act was created to preserve the land in order to protect the trees, minerals, and natural formations of the National Park. A bill was passed that made all of Yosemite the United States government’s property in order to protect and preserve. It is now one of America’s most cherished landmarks.

It was recently discovered that Yosemite National Park had been vandalized with graffiti. Park rangers had received multiple reports about vandalism on some of the most popular trails in Yosemite. About thirty sites around the park had been confirmed with graffiti. They were relatively large, with some being 8 feet by 8 feet. Officials do not know who tagged up the protected mountain ranges, but they are asking for help in order to identify the individual(s). Anyone who was on the trails or in the area is being asked to give any information. The park is protected under the Wilderness Act of 1964. This act allows nature to be untouched so it is able to flourish on its own. Yosemite is considered to be under a ‘highly protected” status to prevent human damage to the environment. The individuals who took it upon themselves to leave a form of art on the mountain ranges are looking at serious punishments. Under federal law, vandalism of a national park is considered a misdemeanor with a $100-$500 fine, and three to six months in prison.

Graffiti is a huge debate in our society. Some people see graffiti as a form of art, while others see it as a form of vandalism. Graffiti allows one to express themselves in a different way. However, it becomes an inappropriate form of personal expression when it is displayed in a setting as sacred or protected as Yosemite National Park. In this particular situation, the graffiti displayed on the mountain ranges is taking away from the park’s history and beauty. The beauty of the park is what makes this place so special. The location holds a unique feeling to so many people across the globe. People work hard everyday to protect the surrounding nature, yet these individuals decided to destroy/belittle the significance of that. It is severely looked down upon. Whether they thought of it as art or not, their “work” was not accepted by the majority.

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Valerie Perez

16 thoughts on “Yosemite National Park Vandalized With Art?

  1. This is honestly depressing and just plain sad to read that someone would vandalize such a beautiful piece of nature. Especially when there is no point! Whoever did do this is not getting any message across besides the fact that they are disrespectful and rude. Whether it was done with spray paint or someone who carved theirs and their friends names into a tree, it is wrong!

  2. Graffiti is a form of art that can be very meaningful and beautiful at the same time, but it comes with its limits. In the case of vandalizing a national park like Yosemite, I believe there should be some type of punishment. There is a difference between graffiti being done in one’s own neighborhood alley or a park where it might be a little more understandable and bearable, but damaging the beauty of a natural environment, especially when there are laws to protect it, is not right. I have never visited Yosemite, but if I do, I would not be as happy with seeing graffiti and would rather much see the natural and untouched land.

  3. At a base level, you shouldn’t do things to others’ property without permission. Here we have a clear intent of what the land is meant to be, and someone violated those intentions. There is no gray area of whether the work should or should not have been done.

  4. I think this thing is absolutely inappropriate. As an art form, graffiti can add vitality and creativity to the city by displaying it on the walls of urban streets. However, when graffiti appears in a national park like Yosemite, I think it is a kind of destruction of natural scenery. It breaks the raw and natural vibe of Yosemite. If someone wants to express their artistic creation, they should choose the appropriate place and method instead of doing destructive graffiti in the natural landscape.

  5. I am APPAULED that someone would vandalize Yosemite. I don’t think that graffiti is art. I understand that it’s a trill of it or whatever, but simply tagging is not art. It’s marking territory.

    Additionally, I HATE when graffiti “artists” hit things that should not be hit. A national park seems comparable to when people desecrate graves. Is spray painting someone’s grave stone art?

    Regardless, I’m highly against graffiti, since its not art, not done for artistry, and ruins a lot of good things.

  6. I believe that graffiti is a form of art and can be beautiful but as the article says there’s places where it’s inappropriate. Yosemite is a beautiful place that needs to be preserved so it can be seen by those in the future. It makes me really sad and disappointed that someone would think to graffiti the park especially in more than one place. The person or people involved with the graffiti should be punished. Additionally, when people put graffiti in places that are sacred or protected it makes it so people who are anti-graffiti have examples to support their position on graffiti. In other words it creates a bigger negative view on graffiti.

  7. The act of vandalization is illegal, and it involves damaging property-whether private or public- on purpose. In this case, Yosemite National Park is a public land and marking up this property is illegal. Additionally, vandalizing a national park, or any public space in general, disturbs the serenity of nature for those who visit and ruins the scenery for others who also utilize the space. However, this is not to say that the vandalism itself is not art. Vandalizing can be thought of as a form of art, but it is still illegal to vandalize property. Even though there are countless signs through the part to remind visitors to refrain from vandalism, individuals who vandalize may have the mindset that if no one sees them doing it and are not caught can escape the entailing fine and consequences.

  8. As someone who has always wanted to visit Yosemite, I find it sad that there was a group of individuals who spent their time to graffiti rather than enjoy the environment. If I’m not mistaken, aren’t you supposed to pay a fee to get in? A question that keeps coming up, is the question of “What was the point?”. As stated in your post, graffiti can be seen as art; however, what art needs to be represented at Yosemite, a place known for nature, mountains, and wildlife. Depending on the place and types of graffiti being presented, I found this graffiti to be childish and asking for attention. I respect the officials and how upset everyone is, as many want this individual to be fined or at least caught to explain the “wrongs” of it. The types of people visiting Yosemite aren’t usually the ones to appreciate nor look forward to seeing graffiti, in these types of environments.

  9. Graffiti is a form of art that is very beautiful in its own right but, in this case it is vandalism. Yosemite National Park is protected and should be preserved to the fullness of its beauty. Art has own its place but, Yoesmite is not the place for art that does not belong. Yosemite itself is art and should be maintained as such. Graffiti is great art but, Yosemite is not the place for it

  10. Artists should be free to express themselves, but a National Park is not the place for that. National Parks are protected to minimize human influence on the land to keep it as radiant as possible. I think vandalizing Yosemite was a rude, selfish act because tagging the land could directly affect the land’s health, as well as the rest of the animals within the ecosystem. Vandalism in places where the entire area is man-made is fine depending on the situation; but there is no need to damage the earth, put local animals at risk, and ruin something that has been protected for quite some time.

  11. I think it would be very interesting to see opinions about this from graffiti artists/people involved in graffiti culture. I do not know much about graffiti culture, but I have a hunch that even the most prolific graffiti artists would be very against graffiti in Yosemite. From what I know, graffiti artists normally paint walls in large cities, on the side of trains, and on other manmade things. I am very surprised that someone tagged such a serene and beautiful place as Yosemite, and it seems antithetical to the whole purpose of graffiti: to make a statement that many people will see. This definitely violates the premise of “leave no trace” and is very disheartening to read about.

  12. national parks should be better protected and preserved for future generations of people to have. Defacing the park with graffiti destroys the natural beauty and disrespects the hard work of the people who work there to maintain the park and and provide tours, history, and knowledge for nature lovers who visit.

    Maybe graffiti is a form of personal expression, but when it is done on property of the nation, it becomes destruction. National parks are a sanctuary for wildlife and nature, and vandalism disrupts the balance that is essential for the ecosystem.

    The consequences of vandalism should be taken seriously and should be enforced to prevent future incident. Those prosecuted should be widely publicized as deterrence for future crimes.

  13. As a regular who visits Mammoth/Yosemite every summer, reading this shocked me! I had no idea there weren’t any recent information regarding graffiti vandalism at one of my favorite parks to visit in any news source. Hopefully, they will be identified and held responsible for this!

  14. Graffiti can be considered an art under the right circumstances. In the city, graffiti contrast the grey and neutral architecture that takes over downtown areas. Graffiti provides color in sight of neutrality; however, that is not the case in Yosemite. Yosemite National Park is one of the country’s most beautiful nature parks that brings in thousands of tourists a year. Graffiti nature doesn’t have a purpose and makes no sense. The goal of graffiti is to make a statement or express your emotions toward an audience. That can not be accomplished in a setting like Yosemite where nature takes over everything. I feel like the punishment for committing these crimes should be heavier in order to prevent stuff like this from happening again.

  15. This is vandalism. The people who decidede to tag up the mountain ranges are vandals and its as simple as that. This is comparable to some idiot walking into a church and deciding he wants to leave his mark here and starts tagging up the church. Some folks will argue that graffiti isn’t graffiti unless it’s done without permission and these people are idiots. Graffiti is a form of art, a form of expression just like any other art media but you don’t see oil painters running up to walls in the middle of the night and express their artworks on people’s walls. The hammer should be dropped on these moronic vandals, maximum fines and jailtime for people who disrespect nature. We already have enough issues with the rapid decline of truly natural areas, anyone dumb enough to disrespect and vandalize what we have left will not get any sympathy from me.

  16. This is vandalism. The people who decided to tag up the mountain ranges are vandals and its as simple as that. This is comparable to some idiot walking into a church and deciding he wants to leave his mark here and starts tagging up the church. Some folks will argue that graffiti isn’t graffiti unless it’s done without permission and these people are idiots. Graffiti is a form of art, a form of expression just like any other art media but you don’t see oil painters running up to walls in the middle of the night and express their artworks on peoples walls. The hammer should be dropped on these moronic vandals, maximum fines and jail time for people who disrespect nature. We already have enough issues with the rapid decline of truly natural areas, anyone dumb enough to disrespect and vandalize what we have left will not get any sympathy from me.

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