A 49-year-old Michigan man was arraigned in federal court on Wednesday after allegedly traveling off-trail in Yellowstone National Park. Conditions for his release state that he will be unable to visit Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks until the case is completed.
The court is accusing Jason D. Wicks of Hillman, Michigan, of traveling off-trail in a a Yellowstone National Park thermal area while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He’s being charged with both off-trail travel in a Yellowstone National Park thermal area and being under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the point of endangering himself or others. According to the U.S. Department of Justice District of Wyoming, Wicks pleaded not guilty to the charges, and a trial date has not yet been set.
“The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface. Therefore, everyone must remain on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around Yellowstone’s thermal features.” – Yellowstone National Park
CNN reports that the man received non-life-threatening thermal burns to his foot on the night of Tuesday, August 22. Wicks has been banned from Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks until the case has been resolved.
Thermal burns from Yellowstone’s hot springs have killed more than 20 people. If you visit the springs, stay on the boardwalks and designated trails. Keep your kids in check, and don’t let them run while on the boardwalks. Don’t try to bring your pets along, either. They aren’t allowed near the hot springs. Do not throw anything into the springs and, most importantly, do not touch any of the thermal features. If you start feeling sick while visiting the hot springs, leave immediately. Toxic gasses can accumulate.
Image Credit: Yellowstone National Park via Facebook