Vandals and Thermal Areas

Thermal features are fragile rarities in nature. The geyser basins at Yellowstone are the last major undeveloped thermal area on this planet, giving you the unparalleled opportunity to view hot springs, geysers, mud pots, and steam vents in a natural setting.

Change takes place naturally in a geyser basin but people can disrupt natural processes, causing irreparable damage. Rocks, sticks and other objects thrown into a geyser's or hot spring's vent may be permanently cemented in place, choking off water circulation and ending all activity. Ebony Geyser in Porcelain Basin and Minute Geyser1 in Back Basin have been victims of this thoughtless destruction.

For the sake of us all, never throw objects into any thermal feature. Stay on established walkways for yourown safety and to protect fragile formations that have grown over decades or hundreds of years.

It is illegal to collect and natural or cultural objects, or to remove, deface or destroy any plant, animal, or mineral in Yellowstone National Park.

1Once one of the major geysers at Norris Geyser Basin, Minute Geyser now spouts about a foot or so above its crater. Vandalism plugged the geyser's plumbing, drastically altering its behavior. No one can predict whether Minute Geyser will ever again display its former powerful eruptions.
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This material is abstracted from brochures distributed by The Yellowstone Association for Natural Science, History & Education, Inc.

© 1995 Karen M. Strom