Yellowstone National Park

Another court report: Author/tour guide found guilty of Yellowstone violations

The U.S. federal court in Mammoth certainly has been busy. In the latest court decision, a part-time West Yellowstone resident has been found guilty of seven counts of illegal activities and violations in Yellowstone National Park.

Theodore “Teddy” Garland appeared in front of Magistrate Judge Mark L. Carman in Mammoth Hot Springs on July 2, 2021, for the sentencing.

Garland, who publishes a travel guide and podcast in addition to leading tours in Yellowstone and the surrounding area, originally was charged with 15 counts of illegal activities and violating national park regulations, including unauthorized guided tours; trespassing on thermal grounds; violating swimming closures and cliff jumping; creating “hot pots in rivers;” and disturbing wildlife. After an April 7-8, 2020 trial focused on Yellowstone violations committed in June 2018 and June 2020, Carman found Garland guilty of seven counts of illegal activities and violations.

At sentencing, the government requested that Garland be imprisoned for 30 days, served concurrently, on all counts; pay a fine of $750 for each count; make a Community Service Payment of $750 for each count; five years of unsupervised probation; and that he receive a ban from Yellowstone National Park for five years.

Carman sentenced Garland on the seven counts, resulting in a seven-day jail sentence; a total of $600 in fines and fees; a one-time payment of $500 to Yellowstone Forever Geological Resource Fund; and a ban from Yellowstone National Park until December 31, 2021. He was also ordered to write an introduction/forward to his guidebook communicating respect for the park and removing references of illegal activity by July 16, 2021. Garland will serve five years of unsupervised probation and shall “not promote violations of laws in the national parks in any way.”  From the Jackson Hole News and Guide:

When the criminal case began in 2020, Garland called every last one of the 17 charges against him “absolutely baseless.” But he subsequently changed his tune.

“I fell on my sword and took full responsibility for everything,” he said.

Garland read the News&Guide a statement that he had recited at the Mammoth courtoom: “Sitting in this courtroom this spring I listened to some of the completely stupid and foolish things I said on some of my podcasts. I just couldn’t believe I actually said those things — I still can’t believe it — and I’m ashamed of my actions and the results they have caused.”

This case was handled by the National Park Service and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Hambrick.

“Enforcing federal criminal laws for the protection of our national parks’ resources will always remain a priority of the United States Attorney’s office in Wyoming,” said Acting United States Attorney Bob Murray. “That is especially true when a criminal motivated by greed, like Mr. Garland, encourages others to commit more crimes and cause more damage to the treasures of America’s first national park.”

RELATED STORIES: More Yellowstone crime reports, including a high-speed chase; More Yellowstone legal proceedings against visitorsJail time issued for Yellowstone visitor after disorderly conduct

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