Texas Man Sentenced for Carving Initials into Yellowstone Park’s Roosevelt Arch
A Texas man will spend three days in jail and pay for repairs after carving his initials into the iconic Roosevelt Arch at the entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner.
Dakota D. Tipton, 26, of Joshua, Texas, was sentenced Tuesday, July 26 for carving his initials into the arch. U.S Magistrate Judge Mark Carman ordered Tipton to serve three days in jail, pay a $250 restitution fee for repairs, and $40 in court fees. He will likely serve his jail sentence near his home in Texas, according to a press release from Yellowstone National Park.
On June 10, a visitor notified park dispatch that Tipton was carving his initials into a keystone above a small walkway arch adjacent to Arch Park. When contacted by law enforcement,Tipton admitted to using a multi-tool to carve into the arch, calling it “a bad decision,” according to the park.
The arch was dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt, who laid the cornerstone on April 24, 1903. The arch greeted early visitors who arrived in Gardiner via the Northern Pacific Railroad, according to the park’s press release.
The arch is part of the Fort Yellowstone National Historic Landmark District. National Historic Landmarks are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States.
It is difficult to measure the actual cultural resource loss that Tipton’s actions cost the park, the park said. The sentence passed down by the judge reflects the egregious nature of such an action.
“Let this unfortunate act be a reminder to all that the cultural treasures of Yellowstone National Park require our care and protection to ensure that generations to come will enjoy their presence on the landscape,” Yellowstone National Park Deputy Superintendent Steve Iobst said.