“The National Park Service and the Grand Teton National Park Foundation have embarked on a $5 million, multi-year project to restore the historic character of Mormon Row. To think that these vandals could undo in a matter of minutes what has taken years of diligent, hard work and money to put together is a pretty sad statement about the way these people view our public lands.”– Rob Wallace, Former U.S. Department of Interior Assistant Secretary.
Back in July of 2020, BoltsAction LLC hosted a motocross event in Wyoming. According to the Cowboy State Daily, they couldn’t have picked a worse location for the event: the Mormon Row of Grand Teton National Park. Led by Jacob “Jake” Hobbs, thirty to forty attended and wrecked four thousand square feet of public land. The group had apparently been hosting dirt biking events in the space since 2011, although the group claims it started in 2013. In the various videos that were posted online, Jacob Hobbs was seen speaking with a bullhorn and helped create the racecourse with white flags set as boundaries.
Jacob faces the following charges: “unlawfully destroying and damaging property, unlawfully destroying and disturbing Grand Teton’s natural state plants and products, failing to report a property damage incident exceeding $300, destroying a monument and operating a motor vehicle in a restricted area.” Jacob also faces “27 months in prison, five years of probation and fines of up to $25,000.”
What makes this situation disgraceful is how the area was undergoing a restoration project. In 2014, Grand Teton National Park began a ten-year restoration project in order to remove non-native grasses and invasive species. Thirty-seven species of native plants have been added to support the sagebrush steppe habitat. The Mormon Row space features animals like “elk, bison, pronghorn, moose, sage grouse and a variety of other wildlife, which all depend on the sagebrush steppe.” The area that the motorcyclists wrecked had just been reseeded in 2019. Hopefully, the punishment sets a reminder that defacing our national parks should not be tolerated. If you see something stupid, say something and report it to park officials.
Image/Video Credits: Cowboy State Daily