The four men who walked out onto the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park several days ago have issued a public apology for their actions.
The men - who identify themselves as Ryker, Alexey, Justis, and Parker - are a team of four Canadians who have been touring the United States in an RV and documenting the experience on behalf of clothing retailer Sundays Fundayz.
The group has been posting regular updates on their website HighOnLife.ca and on social media; their Facebook page says: "We Travel Around the World for a Living and Make Fun and Adventurous Videos! We also have a clothing company."
Since the video showing them walking onto the spring went viral on Monday, they have deleted several videos and social media posts, which have been flooded with comments expressing outrage over their actions.
The group posted the following message on Facebook on Tuesday morning:
Three days ago we were lucky enough to visit Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. We got over zealous in our enthusiasm for this wonderful place. When standing at the face of such natural wonder, we were drawn to it. In an attempt to get the perfect shot, we acted in a way that doesn’t reflect our respect for the environment we were trying to capture. It was the wrong decision to make. We realize that now. We wandered off the laid out path and took photos of the Grand Prismatic Springs, unaware of the ecological ramifications and safety precautions. For this we would like to sincerely apologize to the Yellowstone park community and the public.
We have spent a year saving for and planning this project, the last thing we intended to do was to disrespect this beautiful place. Quite the opposite. We have spent 75 days traveling the country and capturing it’s diverse beauty for the purpose of showcasing it to the world. We want to inspire others to go out and explore this vast land, to treat nature and our world with love and respect and to remind everyone watching to never take the wonder’s in their backyard for granted. This is what we stand for, this is who we are, with the purest of intentions we managed to screw up on the last day.
To move forward we would like to do what we can to guide the attention surrounding yellowstone and use it for a good cause. For the next two days, every time someone shares their favorite positive personal memory from Yellowstone National Park on the park’s Facebook page with the hashtag #DonationforYellowstone, we will donate a dollar per personal story post, up to five thousand donation.
We take your comments, messages and every piece of feedback seriously. We hope that our community will forgive us for our misstep and continue to see us as a source of positivity and inspiration as we continue to capture this life worth living.
The High On Life Crew
Ryker, Alexey, Justis, Parker
The Jackson Hole News & Guide said on Monday evening that Yellowstone officials received reports of the four men, and that park spokeswoman Charissa Reid said, “That is absolutely against the rules. Now that we know about it, we’ll give it our full attention.”
The group's explanation and apology is not sitting well with most people, however; here is a sampling of the comments posted in response on their Facebook page:
Patricia Moeller: Please don't make amends then require us to do something, that's not an amends its self advertising. Donate $5000 and apologize, Then accept the consequences of the laws you broke. Even better, spend a year traveling around the nation using your transgressions to teach school children how to respect our environment. Start raising awareness for a greater cause: the protection of our home's natural beauty.
Kevin Au: Wow. Your narcissism is astounding. You damaged a natural wonder not to promote its majesty, but your own. Even in your sorry attempt at penance (as if $5000 could fix the damage you caused), you seek self-promotion. You represent the worst of your generation. I hope you are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Beth Muecke Schledewitz: You should just donate the money because you know you messed up, not because you get comments. Yellowstone is my backyard, and you desecrated our land. Shame on you!
Sasha Boston: You did not "wander" off the laid out path, you purposefully and willfully ignored all of the literature and large amount of posted signs that tell of the dangers and unlawfulness of leaving the laid out path. Millions of people visit who when faced with the natural beauty and wonder are somehow able to still follow the rules. I hope that you learn a life altering lesson for what you have done. I also hope they prosecute all of you as a example to anyone else who thinks they can do as they please and apologize later.
Eric Heidle: You took video of the signs warning people to stay off these features, then ignored them. There is no way you didn't realize it was illegal, irresponsible, and dangerous to leave the path. You could have been killed or injured, forcing park personnel to risk their own lives to save you, and your presence damaged an irreplaceable natural feature. It's part of your bro-tastic mentality on display throughout the rest of your videos and photos.
Dave Hobley: As much as I would like to accept your apology, I feel like this is all part of your publicity stunt which is very sad as you could have done something much more positive for publicity.
Linda Kemp: Makes me wonder what other antics & destructive behavior you all were involved in during the 75 days before you arrived at Yellowstone.