Cellphone cameras have been rolling, so the TikTok influencer bent her knees, adjusted her stance and swung her membership at a golf ball that had been positioned close to the sting of a precipice on the Grand Canyon. The ball soared. The membership did, too, after it flew out of her hand.
“How did that occur,” requested the textual content on the clip, which was recorded on Oct. 26 and posted on TikTok the identical day.
The authorities, nevertheless, appeared to have one other query after viewing the video: Who was accountable for littering at one of many nation’s most iconic nationwide parks?
Suggestions got here in, and legislation enforcement quickly had a reputation: Katie Sigmond, an influencer with about seven million followers on TikTok who posts exercise and modeling movies, in addition to clips highlighting her golf sport at driving ranges and programs.
Her golf swing on the Grand Canyon, nevertheless, rapidly drew criticism, together with from park officers.
“Do we actually have to say, ‘don’t hit golf balls into the Grand Canyon?’” the Grand Canyon Nationwide Park stated on Instagram.
Along with criticism, the stunt additionally resulted in authorized bother for Ms. Sigmond, who finally admitted to park rangers that she had been the one within the video, in keeping with Joelle Baird, a spokeswoman for Grand Canyon Nationwide Park’s Workplace of Public Affairs.
Ms. Baird stated that Ms. Sigmond, 20, was initially charged with littering, tossing gadgets into the Grand Canyon and creating hazardous situations with disorderly conduct. The U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace for the District of Arizona lately resolved her case via an out-of-court settlement that resulted in a positive, Ms. Baird stated.
She didn’t know which costs have been in the end included within the settlement, and the federal prosecutor’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to calls and emails looking for remark.
Ms. Baird stated she didn’t know the quantity of the positive. However in comparable instances, fines can attain roughly $280, she stated. The Arizona Republic reported on the information of Ms. Sigmond’s positive on Thursday.
Ms. Sigmond didn’t reply to an e-mail looking for touch upon Saturday. The video of her golf swing on the Grand Canyon seems to have been deleted from her social media pages.
The episode was the most recent case of tourists misbehaving on the Grand Canyon, an prevalence that, up to now, has motivated park officers to publicly deride the actions of those that fail to respect the treasured, eroded panorama.
In September of final 12 months, the park posted a photograph of a padlock that had been positioned on a fence on the Grand Canyon with an inscription of “Alex + Cas.” The company didn’t discover any romantic worth in it, writing, “You might suppose your padlock of affection left on the park fence is intelligent, however it received’t stand the check of time to our bolt cutters.” The submit cited the potential risks to wildlife.
The Park Service confronted a much less rosy difficulty in October 2020 when it reported a spike in “the quantity of human waste on (or simply off) path” on the Grand Canyon.
“Nobody else ought to have to deal with your waste,” it stated. And final summer time, rangers on the Grand Canyon had a easy message to these tossing their cigarettes on the dry mineral soil: “Bighorn sheep butts are cute! However cigarette butts, not a lot.”
Ms. Baird stated rangers had additionally handled individuals tossing baseballs, soccer balls and different objects into the canyon.
“You title it, and folks throw it over the canyon,” she stated, including that “it’s one among these items that sadly occurs time and time once more.”
Grand Canyon officers stated Ms. Sigmond had tossed her membership and hit the golf ball close to Mather Level, which provides a panoramic view of the canyon’s a number of layers of uncovered rock.
“Throwing objects over the rim of the canyon shouldn’t be solely unlawful however also can endanger hikers and wildlife who could also be under,” park officers stated.