Brett Nelson of Prineville, Oregon, decided to take a hike up Tumalo Falls in Bend, Oregon, on May 2, but instead of basking in natural beauty, he found himself face-to-face with a family of vandals. A man and his two teenage children, a boy and a girl, were carving their names into railings underneath the waterfalls in Deschutes National Forest.
Nelson told them to stop, but they refused. His hiking companion, Lyle Sweeney, took a photo of the family and Nelson posted it to Facebook with the caption: "SPOILED" By most unbelievable Douche'-Bag parenting I have ever encountered. PROUD parent letting children carve names in tumalo falls hand railing…”
He recalled his confrontation with the family members, who said they were from California and told the trio, “Oregonians take huge pride in our land in our public land parks and you are not welcome.” Nelson asked the man for his license plate number, “so I can carve my name in the hood of your car” and the man replied, “go for it, it’s a rental car.”
The photo has been shared more than 53,000 times and the Forest Service is now investigating the vandalism. “Brett doing what he did really helps us out," said Deschutes National Forest spokeswoman Kassidy Kern. "For as spoiled as his experience felt in the moment, it certainly has catalyzed a movement of people who really value public lands.”
Glen Sachet, a regional spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service, said vandalism is a huge problem. Staff and volunteers pitch in to repair the damage. It also takes a lot of money to investigate these crimes and prosecute people. "It costs the public money, it damages the long-term sustainability of our resources and our facilities, and it's ugly," Sachet said.
Nelson hope the vandals are brought to justice. "I don't want any kind of ramifications toward the kids," he said. "That's not the message I'm trying to get across. I just want wrongdoing to be admitted and for us all to move on.”
Image via Facebook