Should VARA Apply to Nature Graffiti?

51f877d40cb03.preview-620By Beth St. Clair

State and national parks are sanctuaries, and the Emerald Gem that is the Pacific Northwest has no shortage of outdoor devotees ready to protect its parks’ soul-achingly beautiful mountains, tapestries of forests, and glimmering, shimmering lakes, streams and ocean coasts.

                How shocked would nature-lovers be to learn that, over the last several years, graffiti has moved to national parks? The most nefarious instance involved a 21-year-old from New York who painted exhausted-looking persona on logs, in caves, and even the ground, in as many as eight different national park locales. Tagging each oeuvre with “#creepytings,” she deliberately ousted herself by posting pictures on Instagram. A second case involved a European graffiti artist who spray-painted his signature tag on a boulder in Joshua Tree National Park, also posting on Instagram. After public outcry and an initial denial that he had been on park grounds, the artist paid a National Park Service fine to the U.S. District Court. Continue reading