Despite being warned about running an illegal guiding service in Zion National Park, a Utah man continued to do just that. Last month he paid the price when he was convicted for doing so.
Zion Superintendent Jock Whitworth says Dennis Fisher, of Spanish Fork, Utah, pled guilty on August 17 in St. George Magistrate Court to conducting an illegal guiding service within the boundaries of the park. For several years, Mr. Fisher and his company, TPC Sports, had advertised illegal guided canyoneering trips in the park’s backcountry, according to the superintendent, who also said Mr. Fisher had been previously contacted by park rangers regarding his illegal operation.
An operation culminating in two undercover park rangers participating in one of Mr. Fisher’s trips through Mystery Canyon on July 25, 2009, led to the criminal charges. As a result of his conviction, Mr. Fisher was fined $1000 and banned from entering Zion National Park for two years, the superintendent said.
Permitted commercial operations are allowed for interpretive purposes on a limited number of Zion Canyon’s developed trails, but are not permitted through most of the park’s backcountry, including all canyoneering routes. A permit must be obtained prior to any commercial use of park trails. To obtain a commercial permit or for more information about commercial regulations in Zion National Park, call 435-772-7823 or visit the park's website: www.nps.gov/zion.