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Tourist fined for foot travel in a thermal area of Yellowstone National Park

Pierce Brosnan cited in Yellowstone National Park
Pierce Brosnan
Posted at 2:51 PM, Mar 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-15 12:02:57-04

GREAT FALLS — Pierce Brosnan of California was sentenced on Thursday, March 14, 2024, after he pleaded guilty to a charge of foot travel in a thermal area of Yellowstone National Park.

According to court documents, on November 1, 2023, Brosnan uploaded pictures to his Instagram page of himself standing on a Yellowstone National Park thermal feature at Mammoth Hot Springs.

Two citations were issued on December 26, 2023. The first citation claims that he violated rules regarding “foot travel in all thermal areas and within Yellowstone Canyon confined to trails.” The second citation claims that he violated closures and use limits in the park.

There are signs posted in the area that warn visitors of the dangers of thermal features and state that visitors must remain on designated boardwalks and trails.

The charge of violating closures and use permits was dismissed.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office had asked the court to sentence Brosnan to two years of probation and the maximum fine of $5,000.

Brosnan, 70 years old, was fined $500, and also ordered to pay $1,000 to the Yellowstone Forever Geological Fund as a "community service payment."

U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Hambrick imposed the sentence on Wednesday in Mammoth, Wyoming.

Brosnan is an actor who is well-known for his portrayal of fictional super-spy James Bond in several movies. At about the time of the Yellowstone incident, he had been in the area filming a western movie titled “Unholy Trinity.”

Brosnan posted on Instagram: "I deeply regret my transgression and offer my heartfelt apologies to all for trespassing in this sensitive area. Yellowstone and all our National Parks are to be cared for and preserved for all to enjoy."

Several people have been similarly cited - and some injured or died - in recent years due to the inherent danger to themselves and the risk of damaging the Yellowstone ecosystem.

The Yellowstone National Park website provides the following information about safety around thermal features:

  • Always walk on boardwalks and designated trails. Keep children close and do not let them run on boardwalks.
  • Do not touch thermal features or runoff.
  • Swimming or soaking in hot springs is prohibited. More than 20 people have died from burns in Yellowstone’s hot springs.
  • Pets are prohibited in thermal areas.
  • Do not throw objects into hot springs or other hydrothermal features.
  • Toxic gases may accumulate to dangerous levels in some hydrothermal areas. If you begin to feel sick while exploring geyser basins, leave the area immediately.