GEOVANDALISM: ASSESSING THEFT, VANDALISM, AND OTHER DEPRECIATIVE BEHAVIORS RESULTING IN THE IMPAIRMENT OF GEOLOGICAL AND PALEONTOLOGICAL RESOURCES IN NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM AREAS
In this presentation, we examine numerous examples of theft, vandalism, and damaging use of geoheritage in the National Parks. Incidences range from high profile criminal cases, to serial vandalism, to thoughtless damaging behavior. We show how the NPS Paleontology program is using these cases to assess resource stewardship attitudes and improve resource stewardship behaviors. For fossil heritage resources, we’ve developed strategies to aid managers in addressing stakeholder beliefs, attitudes, and behavior that contribute to human-wildlife habituation. The goal of raising awareness is being addressed through National Fossil Day and the NPS Junior Paleontologist program. A partnership with The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics helps to connect with national messaging efforts, especially “Travel and camp on durable surfaces” and “Leave what you find”.