Target: Sheriff Sharon Wehrly, Nye County Sheriff’s Office
Goal: Praise law enforcement for quickly identifying and charging national park vandals.
Three men are accused of vandalizing Death Valley National Park after forcibly breaking into a secure area of the park by shooting at a locked gate. Video footage shows the men in an apparent drunken stupor, stomping recklessly in the Devil’s Hole Pool, the only known habitat of the critically endangered Devil’s Hole pupfish. Leaving behind garbage, vomit, and clothing items in addition to their images on security camera footage, the men gave law enforcement plenty to work with as they investigated the mindless crime.
The men’s incomprehensible behavior is believed to have caused the death of at least one Devil’s Hole pupfish, a critically endangered species that numbers only 115 total. The full extent of the damage to the pupfish’s ecosystem, however remains to be seen. Biologists believe that additional damage may have been sustained to the animal’s food sources and already-laid eggs. This means that the vandals have possibly made a much larger dent in the pupfish’s numbers than previously thought.
Luckily, investigators were able to track down the men based on DNA evidence left at the scene, as well as security camera footage of the vehicle used in the incident. A substantial reward was offered for information leading to the men’s arrest, and they were charged with multiple felony offenses. Their charges include conspiracy to commit a crime, killing of an endangered species, destruction of habitat, and destruction of property. Thank the Nye County Sheriff’s Office for pursuing, identifying and charging these alleged reckless criminals.
Dear Sheriff Sharon Wehrly,
Thank you for your investigation into the recent extensive vandalism incident at Death Valley National Park. Death Valley, and all parks in the National Park system, are national treasures worthy of reverence and respect. The three men who allegedly forcibly entered the Devil’s Hole Unit and damaged a critically endangered species’ habitat clearly disagreed with this point of view. Now they have been justly charged with multiple crimes as a result of this mistake.
It is important that we take a stand for our national parks and ensure that disrespect for these national treasures results in serious consequences. When we allow our public lands to be destroyed without repercussions, we send a message that these offenses are not meaningful enough to merit legal action. For this reason, we, the undersigned, would like the thank the Nye County Sheriff’s Office for its serious attention to this matter, and for quickly identifying and charging these vandals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jesper Rautell Balle