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Workers sandblast the Roosevelt Arch in July. (c)2016 J.S.Reinitz

A Texas man has been sentenced to jail for allegedly leaving his mark on the Roosevelt Arch that marks Yellowstone’s north entrance. Here’s the National Park Service release:

Vandal Sentenced to Three Days in Jail for Carving into Iconic Roosevelt Arch
July 27, 2016

Mammoth Hot Springs, WY – Dakota D. Tipton, 26, of Joshua, Texas, was sentenced Tuesday, July 26, 2016, for carving his initials into the iconic Roosevelt Arch. U.S Magistrate Judge Mark Carman ordered Tipton to serve three days in jail, pay a $250 restitution fee for repairs, and $40 in court fees.

On June 10, 2016, park dispatch was notified by a visitor that Mr. Tipton was carving his initials into a keystone above a small walkway arch adjacent to Arch Park. When contacted by law enforcement, Mr. Tipton admitted to using a multi-tool to carve into the arch, calling it “a bad decision.”

Mr. Tipton was issued a mandatory appearance citation for vandalism and appeared before the court at the Justice Center in Mammoth Hot Springs by phone Tuesday, July 26. He will likely serve his jail sentence near his home in Texas.

The Roosevelt Arch, situated at the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park, was constructed out of local columnar basalt. Dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt, who laid the cornerstone on April 24, 1903, the arch greeted early visitors who arrived in Gardiner, Montana via the Northern Pacific Railroad. At 50 feet high, the Roosevelt Arch is, and has been, a favorite photo point for visitors.

The Roosevelt Arch is part of the Fort Yellowstone National Historic Landmark District. National Historic Landmarks are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States.

It is difficult to measure the actual cultural resource loss that Mr. Tipton’s actions cost the park. The sentence passed down by the judge reflects the egregious nature of such an action.
The keystone of the central arch is engraved with the words, “For the benefit and enjoyment of the people.”

To read about the Roosevelt Arch, visit go.nps.gov/rooseveltarch.

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