Scout Leader Destroys 170 Million-Year-Old Rock Formation in One Minute

Written by Lloyd Atler

It took either 170 million or 20 million years (depending on the news source) for the wind and water to create the hoodoos that are the main attraction in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. It just took a minute for two Boy Scout troop leaders to push one over.

They say they thought it was dangerous; Dave Hall, the man behind the camera, tells a local TV station:

Seeing the circumstances and evaluating the safety of everybody, not just our Scout troop but everybody in the park, we had to decide: Is the safety of everyone here greater than the right for this rock to remain perched on an inch-and-a-half, razor-thin ledge of dirt and wobble?


Wikipedia/CC BY 2.0

Hoodoos are formed when layers of harder rock forms on top of softer sediment. Water, wind and freeze-thaw cycles erode the soft stuff, leaving the mushroom-like top. They have been around for a while and it is unlikely that it is teetering on the edge of collapse. The video shows a big guy doing a lot of work to push it over, it is hardly wobbling. (However according to ABC News, Mr. Taylor is “suffering permanent ‘disability’ and ‘impairment’ from an auto accident four years ago,” so that may have affected how easy it was for him to push the rock.)

In an earlier post, I wrote, “When I was a Boy Scout, and indeed since the beginning of scouting, conservation and protection of the environment have been an integral part of the movement.” So I personally cringed, watching this video, and I am certain a lot of other Scouts did as well. The Boy Scouts of America were not impressed, noting in a statement:

We are shocked and disappointed by this reprehensible behavior. For more than a century, the Boy Scouts of America has been a leader in conservation—from stewardship to sustainability. We teach our 2.6 million youth members and 1.1 million adult members, who collectively spend more than 5.5 million nights outdoors, the principles of “Leave No Trace.” These principles stress a commitment to maintaining the integrity and character of the outdoors and all living things.

Meanwhile the story got the Daily Mail and Guardian treatment, and the two scout leaders are getting death threats and hate mail from around the world. As a spokesperson for the State Park noted, “This is highly, highly inappropriate. This is not what you do at state parks. It’s disturbing and upsetting.”

No merit badge for these guys.

This post was originally published in TreeHugger

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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247 comments

Justan Acre
j Acre1 years ago

3/19/14 It is with a heavy heart but NO surprise, this just in. These two moron LDS/Boy Scout LEADERS got off completely free! Don't know the name of judge - ha ya right - most likely hiding. I live in Idaho the state and especially that part of the state is heavy Mormon. They stay together. If it is not bad enough for the "good 'ole boys" the boy scouts and now the lds - all three of these whatever s the rock had no chance. Find who to appeal to. It just goes on they have GOT to pay!!! They can;t of course but at least years of big boy prison sounds good.

Wanda Kennington
Wanda Kennington2 years ago

Stupid idiots.

Elvira Escamilla D?vila

I can't understand, how people can be so ignorant????!!!!!!

Howard Crosse
Howard Crosse2 years ago

I really fail to see how anyone could find doing something like this fun, clearly they have too much time on their hands.

Jennifer Smith
Jennifer Smith2 years ago

Listing to them, sounds more like they used the 'saving lives' BS as a cover for a 'Let's see how bad ass I am' show off to push that rock over.

Notice how it didn't fall that easy? Or how they laughed, and cheered that it fell over.

Jennifer Smith
Jennifer Smith2 years ago

Listing to them, sounds more like they used the 'saving lives' BS as a cover for a 'Let's see how bad ass I am' show off to push that rock over.

Notice how it didn't fall that easy? Or how they laughed, and cheered that it fell over.

GGmaSheila D.
GGmaSheila D.2 years ago

Couldn't see video due to copyright by Dave Hall...wonder if he's trying to get rid of disability fraud evidence...

Karmen Katz
Karmen Katz2 years ago

I was just in Utah, went to visit all 5 National Parks. It was so beautiful out there. It was my favorite vacation ever. Sorry to hear about this story.

Muriel Servaege
Muriel Servaege2 years ago

The leader should be flung into prison for ... 170 million years.

michelle G.
Michelle Goebel2 years ago

The same clown that pushed it over, filed for a disability claim earlier in the month. He should go to prison for his acts. Destroying things in a national park and fraud for the fake disability claim. Pushed it over for Safety??? Its been there for millions of years. What a sad sick person. If he has kids, they will be messed up people.