Photos reveal infuriating moment tourists encroached on protected area for selfies: ‘They don’t think the rules should apply to them’

Though national parks are a celebration of the beauty of nature, tourists aren’t always on their best behavior when visiting.

Tourons of National Parks (@touronsofnationalparks) shared a post about visitors behaving badly last month. This time, they encroached on a restoration area in Yosemite National Park’s largest grove of giant sequoias.

Mikayla Morse (@mikaylamorse15) wrote in the caption that she came across a group of people holding hands around a tree in a restoration area, though at least two signs banned tourists from entering the area.

“One of my friends called them out and told them to get out of the restoration area. The man replied, ‘It’s a once-in-a-lifetime photo. Only one photo,’” Morse explained. “My friend then said that it leads to everyone doing that, which ruins the trees.”

She added that the man told her and her friend to mind their own business, so she snapped a photo and shared it with the Tourons of National Parks page. The word “tourons” is a portmanteau of “tourists” and “morons.”

Giant sequoias and the National Park Service’s other great wonders are for everyone to enjoy, and that requires that sightseers respect and protect these places for this and future generations.

“‘Once in a lifetime photo’ glad to know this guy’s Instagram account is the most important thing in the world,” one commenter wrote.

Another said, “Great example for the kids. Teach them to disregard signs, and trample wherever they want.”

Mariposa Grove is home to more than 500 mature trees. It reopened in 2018 after a three-year restoration project to address “declining conditions … that were adversely affecting the ecological health of the sequoias” and is now being carefully monitored by NPS.

Giant sequoias may be the largest living things on Earth, and Yosemite’s could be more than 3,000 years old.

“That’s the thing, people [are] so entitled they don’t think the rules should apply to them,” one user said.

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