Unlicensed Yellowstone guide ‘motivated by greed’ gets jail sentence

·1 min read

A man who had been profiting as an unlicensed guide in Yellowstone National Park has been found guilty on seven counts of illegal activities and violating national park regulations.

Among the activities, according to a park news release issued Monday, were violating closure periods, trespassing in thermal areas, violating swimming closures and allowing cliff jumping, creating hot spots in rivers, and disturbing wildlife.

Theodore Eugene Garland, 60, of Edmond, Okla., was sentenced to seven days in jail, fined $600, and banned from Yellowstone National Park until Dec. 31, 2021.

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During the July 2 sentencing, before Magistrate Judge Mark L. Carman at Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo., the government had suggested a 30-day jail sentence, steeper fines, and a five-year ban from the park.

Garland was found guilty based largely on incriminating images and posts that appeared on his social media platforms.

He was also ordered to pay $500 to the Yellowstone Forever Geological Resource Fund, serve five years of unsupervised probation, and cease promoting “violations of laws in the national parks.”

Said Acting United States Attorney Bob Murray: “Enforcing federal criminal laws for the protection of our national parks’ resources will always remain a priority of the United States Attorney’s office in Wyoming.

“That is especially true when a criminal motivated by greed, like Mr. Garland, encourages others to commit more crimes and cause more damage to the treasures of America’s first national park.”

The news release, posted to Facebook by Yellowstone National Park, inspired hundreds of comments in just the first hour. Many followers expressed criticism of what they perceived to be too light of a sentence.