Canadian vandals fined and banned from U.S. National Parks

Two High on Life Vandals plead guilty.

Two High on Life Vandals plead guilty.


Author: Steven Shaw
Date: 11.01.16

Five Canadian men from the group “High on Life” recently faced a judge in Yellowstone National Park.  The group appeared Tuesday, November 1, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman at the Yellowstone Justice Center in Mammoth Hot Springs.

The High on Life group were the subject of multiple vandalism investigations by the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

Two of the men, Hamish Cross and Parker Heuser, pleaded guilty to violations in Yellowstone National Park and Death Valley National Park.

Cross pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct by creating a hazardous condition and foot travel in a thermal area in Yellowstone National Park. Cross will pay more than $8,000 in fines, restitution, and community service payments to Yellowstone Forever.

“The judge’s decision today sends a very clear message about thermal feature protection and safety,” said Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk. “Hamish Cross’s egregious actions damaged a world-class hot spring and risked his own life coupled with the lives of responding rangers. We look forward to the outcome of the case regarding the three remaining defendants.”

Heuser pleaded guilty to riding a bike in wilderness and commercial photographs without a permit in Death Valley National Park. He will also pay fines for violations in the Bonneville Salt Flats outside of Salt Lake City, which is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Heuser will pay more than $1,000 in fines. He was not charged with any crimes in Yellowstone National Park.

Both Cross and Heuser were also sentenced to five years probation. During the probation period both of them are banned from public lands managed by the U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  This includes all 413 National Park Service sites, national forests and all lands managed by the BLM.

The remaining three defendants from the High on Life group, Charles Ryker Gamble, Alexey Andriyovych Lyakh, and Justis Cooper Price Brown pleaded not guilty and will be provided court attorneys.  

On May 16, 2016, a concerned visitor in Yellowstone contacted rangers after witnessing four people walking on Grand Prismatic Spring. After investigation, rangers were able to identify the men and arrest warrants were issued. The men had already crossed the border into Canada by the time the warrants were issued.

Investigators tell “through the use of social media and tips from the public, additional investigations were conducted about the group’s activities on other federal lands.”

In total the High on Life group were issued violation notices from Zion National Park, Death Valley National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Corona Arch (BLM), Bonneville Salt Flats (BLM).

We will continue to to follow the cases of Charles Ryker Gamble, Alexey Andriyovych Lyakh and Justis Cooper Price Brown as they make their way through the court system.

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