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Canadian Charged With Spray Painting Names Over Famous Rock Outcrop In Grand Canyon National Park


A Canadian visiting Grand Canyon National Park has been charged with spray painting his name in red on a rock outcrop known as 'Duck on a Rock' on the South Rim, and for littering by tossing the spray paint can into the canyon. NPS file photo of the outcrop by Michael Quinn.

A Canadian man, reportedly hoping to impress his children 20 years from now, spray-painted part of his name on a famous rock outcrop at Grand Canyon National Park, according to the ranger who interviewed him.

When asked by Ranger David Robinson why he had defaced the 'Duck on a Rock' outcrop on the South Rim, Lucien Lionel Chenier, of Ottawa, Ontario, "stated that, 'it was so special that if he left his name then his kids would be able to see it 20 years from now,'" according to a complaint the ranger filed with U.S. District Court officials.

Mr. Chenier used red spray paint to spell "LUCI" on the feature, which is located between Grandview and Yaki points on the South Rim just of East Rim Drive, according to the complaint.

A National Geographic tour leader described Mr. Chenier to the ranger when he arrived on the scene about 6 p.m. Monday after he received a report of the vandalism.

"The tour leader pointed out spray paint on the rock, which I could clearly read as 'LUCI' in bright red spray paint," Ranger Robinson wrote in the complaint. "I observed a male matching her description as the vandal walking towards me from the direction of Duck on a Rock. I made contact with the man and asked where he had been. He replied by pointing down at the rock where the red spray paint was visible."

Furthermore, the man reportedly told the ranger that he threw the spray paint can into the canyon. The complaint cited two criminal counts: one of damaging U.S. property in an amount in excess of $1,000, and a second for disposing "of refuse in other than a refuse receptacle..."

"Chenier admitted that he spray painted the letters 'LUCI' in red spray paint on the Duck on a Rock Feature. Chenier told me that he intended to write his full first name, Lucien," the ranger wrote. "He stopped only because the tour leader and bystanders started yelling at him.

The Duck on the Rock overlook "is one of the original parts of the original East Rim Drive and was one of the first carriage stops for tours in the 1930s when traveling from Grand Canyon Village to Desert View," Ranger Robinson noted in his complaint. "The Duck on a Rock feature is known as one of the more photographed geological features along the South Rim."

Removing "LUCI" from the rock feature will cost an estimated $8,000, the ranger noted after the park's cultural resource experts, who specialize in preservation of cultural and natural resources, examined the damage, the complaint said.

"The location of the damage complicates the removal, as a restoration team will have to work from a high angle with ropes and safety mechanims, which adds to the cost of removal," it added.


This makes me furious.  What's the maximum punishment possible?

Wow!  This story left me with my head shaking.  I'm having trouble comprehending such stupidity.  Rather  than appreciate the beauty of nature, the man decides to deface it.  Says he wants to leave something for his kids to see 20 years from now.  I'm hoping he never reproduces.  We don't need more like him "enjoying" nature.

This story is disturbing on so many levels I don't know where to start. Did he really think the NPS would leave it there for 20 years? Even if they did, did he think the paint would last that long? Was he planning on bringing his kids 20 years hence and saying "Looks kids, I defaced this natural wonder and national treasure to no good purpose. Isn't THAT cool?". What kind of father would give their kids that life leason? And to do it in broad daylight in front of witnesses speaks volumes for the man's mental resources. I hope the $8000 to fix it comes out of his pocket and not the taxpayers'.

The fine should be double the $8,000 cost and the punishment should be well publicized to keep others from attempting a similar jerk move.  And the fine should be collected before this moron is allowed to skip back to Canada, which would make collection of the money more difficult. 

ONLY a thousand dollars fine, but it'll cost $8,000 to clean it up? Make him pay all the costs, including the salaries of the workers invovled. Jerks like this need to pay the full consequences of their actions.
Oh, and be made to wear a shirt saying "I DEFACED THE GRAND CANYON" for life.

And winner of the most stupid person on the planet is................

The spray can wasn't the only thing that should have been thrown into the Canyon!!! GRRR!!!

The disrespectful "frog" should be banned for life from ever entering our country again!  Graffiti drives me crazy.  I am grateful I was not witness to it, I may have asked him he could fly before tossing him over the canyon rim.

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