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.

Why is this not a felony? The GC is a national and global treasure.

It would be interesting to see a breakdown of the $8,000. That's a 1/4-year's salary for some people. I'm asking this seriously.

He was charged for damaging a peice of us property in excess of 1k, not that the fine is 1k. Although knowing our system... I wouldn't be suprised...

Actually, the graffiti battle is constant, particularly within an easy distance from the Rim and before many have received the real impact of the Canyon. There has always been an element of this sort of thing. My brother took particular exception :) to some individuals destroying a shelter in the back country of the Olympics in the '50's. I agree that a $1000 fine is not enough. Wonder how he feels about it now.

The cost of the cleanup should only be the BEGINNING of his fine. Once the graffiti is gone, then it would be time to discuss the fine. The fees should be significant, as a deterrent if for no other reason, or the NPS will be spending all of its time enforcing "Leave No Trace" 's philosophy.

What a shame!

Come on, you guys! Lighten up already. This poor Canuck didn't do nothing that any of us wouldn't have done if we'd been in his shoes. At least he didn't try to hide it. And he confessed to the trooper right awya. I would want my kids to have something to remember me by so I can sort of see where he was coming from. Next time though, he should use that spray-paint that comes off by itself. And don't toss it into the canyon, either. Somewon could have been hit on the head. I agree that was stupid of him. Lets not ruin our good relations with Canada over something as silly as a piece of limestone.
And BTW not even Michelle Bachmann would not call this man a "frog", in our country this is rascist!
Killy in Kanata (near Ottawa)

Actually if I had been in this man's shoes, Kilroy, I wouldn't have done the same thing. I would rather leave a beautiful, unspoiled national treasure for my children to visit in 20 years. I would want my kids to remember me as someone who cared for the beautiful places our country has to offer, not someone who wants to damage them. We aren't going to ruin our relations with Canada because one person was an idiot. And please don't call the Grand Canyon, or any small part of it, silly. It is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. That certainly isn't silly.
As a side note, I once dated a man who thought it would be a good idea to carve our names in a tree so we could "always remember our love for one another." I dumped him...

Yes, RangerLady, where have the real men gone:).

You jest, of course. But you can always claim that Kilrow was here, and leave your mark without doing much harm. What do you really think? I think 99% of Canadian would cheer for a very stiff punishment.

He should be forced to remove the paint, he would not find it so funny.

The idiot is being charged for the removal, right? Not to mention another extra large amount on general principles? Plus being banned for his lifetime from our national parks? Plus never being allowed to buy another can of spray paint in his lifetime?
We can only wish...

As a Canadian who has visited the Grand Canyon and was humbled by the experience may I suggest that the punishment is WAY too light?
To my American cousins a thousand apologies. Most of us are not that ignorant.

Your "piece of limestone" is a national treasure not the paving on your driveway.

Get your slurs right. A "frog" is not racist it is bigoted. Learn the difference before you start defending this moron from another country. Making this idiot pay will not hurt any relations with Canada just as it wouldn't if it were known he was German or any other country, stupidity is universal. His home country probably thinks he is an idiot too! Shall we go paint the Eiffel Tower? You sir seem to be a relative of his.

Hey Kim, we both have our jerks and that's not anything to do with nationalities. Piss poor behavior is what it is. Until we both recognize it for what it is we're all screwed (in the broader sense)! Half my relatives are in BC so I am aware:)!

First off, on behalf of other Canucks, apologies. This is most definately not a Canadian thing to do. The punishment, as has been stated, is far too lenient if it is nothing more than a simple fine. Also, referring to this person as a frog is unfair to other people of frog decent like myself. Douche would be a more appropriate term and one that could be understood in both our natinal languages. Looking forward to hiking your country for a few months. I leave in about a week and promise to leave all spray cans behind.

Kim YOU are a class act!

If you looked up the word STUPID in the dictionary, this idiot's picture would be there.

Comments about the utter obsurdity and criminal nature of the act are neither racist or anti canadian. Just comments about a thoughtless and selfish individual who could have hailed from most any place on the planet. We need to keep up our outrage against such ignorant and/or stupid folk. It is OUR world. Borders are just lines on a map. and, what is a frog, anyway??

You must be about 6 years old to have the "it's no big deal" attitude. This moron defaced a part of our AMERICAN heritage. But then, "Oh boy, I'm going to go down in history for this. Pat me on the back KIDS" .papHe's one sick puppy!!!

Just vandalism and refuse disposal charges? The attorney generalʻs office isnʻt trying hard enough. Terrorism is a possibility.

Okay, it is "bigoted" to call a French-Canadian a "frog", not "racist". A distinction without a difference. When folks from the same country that carpet-bombed and napalmed three-quarters of Indochina start talking about respect for national treasures and landscapes, I get all teary-eyed, er, make that nauseated. You are a country that seems to relish the buggy whip treatment for everything that crawls, er, make that breaks the law. But next time your in Quebec, remember that the Battle of the Plains of Abraham is one our most istorical landscapes and tht we paid hummage to your 32nd presidente when we name it for her. Vive le president Abrahamm R. Linconne.

I would think that he should incur all costs of removing his names. I'd attach a lien to his property, also his paychecks if that's what it took. It's obvious he planned this ahead of time --spray paint isn't the type of thing sold in the gift shop in the Grand Canyon. What's appalling is that he travels with a bunch --who obviously thought that this kind of behavior was okay --a real lack of appreciation of the natural beauty of things. It's not unreasonable to guess that "LUCI" might have defiled other properties with spray paint -- both here on his spree, and in Canada. Tossing this guy off the edge would be doing all North Americans a great favor.

Crucifixion is too good for this clown.

I totally agree with all the comments about this clown, however I hike in the Grand Canyon several times a week, and I carry a squirt bottle of water and a stiff brush to clean off the rocks EVERY time I go hiking. Fortunately it is not spray paint, but too many people deem it necessary to write names, hearts, or even obscenities on the Canyon walls. Some of the panels are so complex or so numerous that I know it took the criminal a long time, and someone saw it. Did anyone say anything? If you saw it, would you say anything?