Local, state, and national parks belong to all of us. We pay taxes and fees to ensure quality programs and maintain scenic beauty. Employees and volunteers take pride in providing guest with outdoor resources for everyone to enjoy. Sadly, there are some visitors who feel they must “leave their mark” in ways that are eyesores to the rest of us.
Spray paint on rocks, trees, and facilities is ugly and illegal. Even with harsh chemicals, the stuff is nearly impossible to remove. Employees want to refrain from using solvents because of the hazards they pose to plants and animals. Carving initials is just as annoying as a knife cuts and leaves a permanent scar on the landscape.
Instead of “leaving a mark,” why not take one with a camera? Point and shoot digital cameras cost $50 or less. Most cell phones and other devices have them built in. A picture of that special someone will look a lot better than a few letters carved in a tree or painted on a rock.
Defacing the natural landscape angers and frustrates others who have to see the “mark.” A few good photos will impress friends and acquaintances.