Cape Kiwanda is one of the most beautiful locations on the Oregon coast – having visited the area on multiple occasions I can tell you first hand that no photo could ever do the area any sort of justice. It’s just that beautiful.
This rugged stretch of coastline that’s located near Pacific City, Oregon is home to a number of famous and much-loved rock formations that really can’t be found anywhere else on the West Coast. One of those rock formations known as ‘Duckbill Rock’ was a unique sandstone pedestal formation that was a compositional favorite amongst landscape photographers from around the world.
|This image by Colby Drake Design illustrates how beautiful this sandstone pedestal was before vandals decided to put their own creative touch on the area. Instagram: @colbydrakedesign|
In recent years, the rock has seen its fair share of abuse with various incidents of folks standing on top of it, leaning on it and laying on it for social media fame. I knew at some point that the rock would eventually succumb to the treatment, but I couldn’t have imagined that a group of tasteless individuals would have the audacity to push the rock formation over. Well, that’s exactly what happened on the afternoon of August 29th, 2016.
As Resource Travel and several others have reported, a group of three individuals approached the sandstone formation and started to push on it, rocking it back fourth until it toppled to the ground. Supposedly, their reason for doing this was because their friend jumped off the formation and broke or injured his leg. David Kalas, a bystander who witnessed the incident, decided to film the whole thing once he saw what was happening and post it to social media. Now, the Oregon State Parks and Recreational Department, in coordination with Oregon State Police are reviewing the incident and are determining how best to respond to the matter.
This isn’t the first case of vandalism in our parks and it certainly won’t be the last, so what do we as a community need to do stop this from happening? This year alone has seen several acts of vandalism such as the filmmakers who decided to trample over the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone. How can we convince people that doing things like this for social media fame is just not okay?
It may be that tighter government regulations and harsher penalties for vandals would help. Casey Nocket, for example, plead guilty to seven misdemeanor counts of damaging government property. A self-identified artist, Nocket graffitied protected rock formations, posting photos of her work to an Instagram account. A misdemeanor can be punished by a fine of up to $100,000 and/or one year of prison, but Nocket received two years of parole and 200 hours of community service.
What do you think? How do you think we can deter individuals from doing things like this in the future? Feel free to share your thoughts by commenting below.