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2 Women Jailed for Damaging Yellowstone Feature

They walked into bacterial mats near thermal feature
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2020 3:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – Leaving the boardwalk in thermal areas of Yellowstone National Park has left some people seriously injured—or dissolved. It landed two Philadelphia women in jail. Tara Davoli, 31, and Sarah Piotrowski, 30, have been sentenced to two days in jail and ordered to pay around $450 each in fines and restitution for leaving the path and walking into an environmentally sensitive area, CBS Philadelphia reports. A judge in Wyoming also banned them from the park for two years. Authorities say they damaged orange bacterial mats at Opal Pool in the Midway Geyser Basin in the June 11 incident.

The colorful mats are among Yellowstone's main attractions. Authorities say witnesses tried to stop the women. "Several witnesses took pictures of Davoli and Piotrowski walking in the thermal feature, which were provided to the park rangers. The rangers were able to use that information to assist in positively identifying the two," a spokesman for US Attorney Mark Klaassen tells the Philadelphia Inquirer. "When confronted by witnesses the women made sarcastic remarks and went on their way." (A woman suffered burns last month after illegally entering the park and falling in a thermal feature.)

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