It is our responsibility to preserve these amazing places. People travel from around the world to see the beauty in nature. No, I did not come to see someones less than stellar stick depiction of a fish on the side of a canyon or initials of a person that obviously does not respect nature. It is so pointless, an unnecessary.
Mushroom State Park was a place I saw a ton of defacing on the rock formations
It Can't Be Fixed
Do people realize that what they are destroying and defacing in a matter of minutes took thousands upon thousands of years to create? Do they not understand that as soon as they make that decision to put their mark on it, that it cannot be taken away? Humans cannot rebuild it. It is not like a building that we can just wash it away. Mother nature will not create that exact natural feature again. That's not how it works.
Why Can't We, They Did
Prehistoric people used painting and carving on rocks as form of communication and art. They did not have any other form. If someone so desires to create art or communicate with others, do it somewhere else. There are plenty of forms of communication and ways to express ones needs without defacing and vandalizing.
Ways to Help
I think that it is our responsibility to find a way to prevent defacing of natural features.
Parks can only do so much to help prevent this, but one of my favorites was at Hamilton Pool Preserve. They had a large rock that they brought in, that had a sign that read: "If you want to write on something do it here not anywhere else at our park". I thought that this was a very clever way of telling people that it is not okay to deface and vandalize.
Hamilton Pool Preserve
Inform people. I am not sure if people do not realize what they are doing when they leave their "mark" but they need to understand what they are truly doing. That starts with letting kids know. They see it on the walls and want to join in. Don't let kids make this mistake. They don't have any concept of how old something is or how long it truly took to form. Some adults might not even be able to comprehend this.
Politely stop someone from making this mistake. I say politely because being rude is not something that will help the situation. I am not one to intrude on other people, so this would be extremely hard for me. I realize after seeing it so often though, that I need to find the courage to politely ask someone to reconsider before they permanently deface a natural feature.
Defacing and vandalizing natural features in that grand scheme of things is not a huge deal but it is completely unnecessary. It is something that can be so easily fixed if people just took the time to realize what they were doing.
I'm sure I will continue to see a few more stick figure fish and many more names in all the natural features that have a special place for in my heart but I hope that with my words, I can at least reach one person that will reconsider the next time they go to deface or vandalize in nature.