Would-be couples sought for making their mark in Laurel Ridge State Park
Park rangers are searching for apparent lovebirds who allegedly spray-painted a large rock formation at Laurel Ridge State Park.
In neat, white lettering, the graffiti reads “Jason (loves) Janel 2013” and “Sean (loves) Christi 2013.”
“It was the name of two would-be couples,” said Mike Mumau, park operations manager.
“That's basically what we found on a pretty impressive rock formation.”
Mumau estimates the rocks were painted within the last month. A hiker along the Laurel Highlands Trail spotted the graffiti and alerted park officials.
“People who care about the trail and the outdoors, when they see something like this, they're pretty disgusted,” Mumau said.
The 70-mile-long Laurel Highlands Trail, which traces the line between Somerset and Westmoreland counties, links Ohiopyle and the Conemaugh Gorge.
It's part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.
Every year, between 80,000 and 100,000 hikers, backpackers and trail runners visit the trail, Mumau estimated.
The hiking trail runs next to the large, free-standing rock formation, which is so big that Mumau said he refers to it as “battleship.”
“It's really pretty and has obviously been defaced by this,” Mumau said.
“These are very special places where people are able to experience nature on its terms and not the other way around.”
Park officials have “zero tolerance” for vandalism and take protection of natural resources seriously, Mumau said.
Such incidents occur from time to time, he said, but it's not common these days to see names carved into trees or rocks doused in spray paint.
Removing the paint would be “very expensive and time-consuming,” Mumau said, but the owner of a specialized cleaning company has volunteered to clean the rock for free.
Park rangers are following a few leads and continue to look for information about the suspect or suspects, who would face charges, Mumau said.
A reward is being offered for information leading to successful prosecution.
Anyone with information can call the park office at 814-445-7725. Callers can remain anonymous.
Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Vandals ruin Ligonier Township farmers’ garden
- Tenant charged in fire that destroyed Latrobe apartment house
- Ex-Delmont man found dead in Florida
- Ligonier Township K-9 officer home to recover from deadly collision
- Unity resident again accused of burglary
- Westmoreland Veterans’ Monument unveiled, rededicated in Greensburg
- Senior housing proposal in Westmoreland County turned down again
- Hempfield train crash search called off; no evidence found
- State police to offer car seat inspections in Hempfield
- Greensburg, Youngwood pools opening for the season May 30
- Youngwood veteran officially joins the Class of 1945