UPDATE: Feds Charge Canadians With Violating Yellowstone Rules
The Wyoming U.S. Attorney's Office has filed formal charges against three men who left a designated walkway at Grand Prismatic Springs in Yellowstone National Park on Saturday, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.
Charles Ryker Gamble, Alexey Andriyovych Lyakh and Justis Cooper Price-Brown, who have a British Columbia-based clothing business called "High on Life," were charged with violating a regulation that requires people to stay on designated board walks or trails, and with creating or maintaining "a hazardous or physically offensive condition," according to the criminal complaint.
Warrants have been issued for their arrests.
On Monday, a park visitor reported to a park ranger that he saw several people off the boardwalk at Grand Prismatic Spring on Saturday. That visitor provided 26 photos and a 22-second video of them, according to the affidavit written by Park Ranger Alec Chapman.
The photos and video showed four individuals leaving the boardwalk, approaching the spring, taking pictures or videos of themselves, and reaching into the spring. The nearest boardwalk was 25 yards away. The affidavit does not explain why the fourth individual was not charged.
The park visitor also had taken photos of the individuals' vehicle with a British Columbia plate that is registered to Gamble, identifies himself as the chief management officer of the clothing company High on Life.
Other park visitors reported seeing a High on Life Facebook page called "Sunday fundayz" with pictures posted on Sunday of Gamble, Cooper and Lyakh.
Chapman wrote travel off the trails in thermal areas is illegal in the park.
"Such off trail travel also creates a hazardous condition for the traveler by breaking through the delicate thermal features and possibility of thermal injuries and subjecting rescuers to the same or similar injuries," Chapman wrote. "There are several signs at the trailhead and along the boardwalk at Grand Prismatic Springs."
In response to the shaming they've received on social media, the High on Life company has offered an apology along with a promise of a donation with the hashtag #DonationforYellowstone.