A group of Boy Scout leaders is potentially facing felony charges for destroying a rock formation nearly 200 million years old in Emery County.
The trio of men was adventuring in Goblin Valley State Park when they decided to film themselves knocking over one of the formations, known as "goblins."
"We have now modified Goblin Valley," the cameraman crows. "A new Goblin Valley exists with, uh, this boulder down here on the bottom. Muscles here pushed it off."
The three laugh, cheer and high five each other.
Utah State Parks officials Thursday were not so amused.
"It is not only wrong, but there will be consequences," said spokesman Eugene Swalberg, noting that a criminal investigation is underway by the State Parks authorities.
"This is highly, highly inappropriate," he said. "This is not what you do at state parks. It’s disturbing and upsetting."
Park officials said the rock formation was created back in the Jurassic period nearly 200 million years ago.
Deputy Emery County Attorney Brent Langston said he was aware of the incident, but it hasn’t been presented to his office yet for screening for possible charges.
"Some things can’t be replaced, like photographs in a family album, but they have great sentimental value," he said.
He said anyone involved, including anyone who encouraged the criminal behavior, could face anywhere from a class B misdemeanor to a second-degree felony depending on how much the formation is valued.
Glenn Taylor said Thursday afternoon that he was the man who pushed over the formation, while Dave Hall filmed and Dylan Taylor looked on. According to Taylor, he and Hall are leaders for a local troop of the Boy Scouts of America.
Taylor said he knocked the boulder to the ground after seeing a family walk by on a nearby popular path. When he touched the rock, Taylor then noticed that it was loose .
"I put my hand on a rock and it moved," he said. "While we were sitting right there we thought, ‘Man if this rock falls it’ll kill them.’ I didn’t have to push hard."
Taylor said that at the time he thought he was doing a "civic service" by taking down a loose rock. However, as he walked back to his car, he began thinking that he should have contacted a ranger about the loose rock. He also said he wished he could take back his actions.
"Glad we did it, wish we wouldn’t have done it," he said Thursday of his feelings about the incident.
Swalberg said it’s rare for tourists to destroy natural formations.
"Some little kid was about ready to walk down here and die and Glenn saved his life by getting the boulder out of the way," the cameraman says. "So it’s all about saving lives here at Goblin Valley."
The Facebook video received a barrage of praise from the men’s friends.
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