The Lone Star State is home to some of the most beautiful natural areas in the country. Along with our state parks, these natural areas are managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for the enjoyment of all Texans and guests to the Lone Star State. The rules and regulations about what visitors can and should not do are designed to ensure that we steward these natural treasures for our own enjoyment and that of future generations.
The Texas State Parks Rules and Regulations clearly state what should be a no-brainer in regard to what one should not do to geological features: “It is an offense for any person to take, remove, destroy, deface, tamper with, or disturb any rock, earth, soil, gem, mineral, fossil, or other geological deposit except by permit issued by the director.” The problem is that some people who visit our parks and natural areas have no brains.
Earlier this week, two individuals of questionable intelligence visited Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Most people who visit our parks carry water bottles, snacks, and trekking poles. These dull-witted guests carried spray paint — which puts their actions into the premeditated category. Honestly, who carries a can of spray paint with them to a state park? That’s like taking an accordion with you when you go deer hunting.
The parks service believes that two individuals seen in a photograph are responsible for tagging one of the granite formations at Enchanted Rock. The offense took place sometime between 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM on Sunday, March 20. Further evidence that these culprits have a combined IQ lower than that of a bucket of rocks is the cryptic message they graffitied onto the face of the geological formation: CA$H TRUCK. Really?
And now, the search is on to find the two imbeciles who messed with Texas. The Parks and Wildlife folks are utilizing social media to circulate the pic of the alleged suspects. Hopefully someone will recognize them and contact the TPWD at 830-685-3636 or email Doug Cochran at doug.Cochran@tpwd.texas.gov. In the meantime, dollars that could have been used for something better must now be invested in cleaning up after Goofus and Doofus.
So, what should you do if you see someone defacing property at one of our state parks or natural areas? At the very least use your smart phone to take pics of the violators. If you do not feel it is safe to confront them, then follow them to their vehicle and take a photo of their license plate. And, report it to park personnel as quickly as possible.
Most of our state parks and natural areas are big and vast, making it hard for park personnel to know everything that is going on. These guardians of our parks need our eyes and our cooperation. Every Texan has a responsibility to help steward the precious natural areas that we are all privileged to enjoy. So, keep your eyes open for Goofus and Doofus. Let’s stop them before they strike again!