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Ranger shares photo of trash left behind by Zion National Park visitors

Zion National Park Trash.png
Posted at 7:30 AM, Dec 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-29 09:36:25-05

ZION NATIONAL PARK, Utah — Visitors to Zion National Park are using some of Utah's most pristine land as a trash can.

Officials posted a photo Tuesday showing a park ranger holding bags of trash collected just within the first mile of his patrol down The Narrows.

READ: Rash of recent graffiti and vandalism at Zion National Park

"The graffiti was the worst I've ever seen, it seemed like the entire stretch I walked had something left on the rock: a handprint, a name, and I won't go into detail about the poop." said Ranger John. "All in all, I picked up 14 pounds of trash (9 pounds were human waste) and cleaned probably 1000 handprints or etchings in less than a mile."

"While it hurts to see such a unique and beautiful place treated like this, I feel honored that I have the responsibility to protect it."

John was the first ranger to patrol The Narrows since it was closed to the public this summer due to toxins in the water.

WATCH: Utah monolith site damage example of bad behavior on public lands

The park recently posted pictures of graffiti left behind by those visiting one of the state's most popular attractions. Spray painted rock walls and names carved into sandstone mar several areas throughout the park.

Zion rangers say "even muddy handprints can last a long time in a region that gets little rain. Leaving anything behind is not appropriate."

CLICK HERE for the park's "Leave No Trace" police tips.