Minnesota man charged with vandalism of national monument in Montana
BILLINGS, Mont. — The U.S. Attorney’s Office has charged a Minnesota man with misdemeanor vandalism for carving his and another person’s name into the sandstone at Pompeys Pillar National Monument.
Cole Randall of Plymouth, Minn., accepted responsibility for the act and agreed to pay $1,000 in fines and $3,400 in restitution, according to a release from the Bureau of Land Management Montana-Dakotas Office.
The Billings Gazette reported that Randall carved “Cole + Shpresa 10/10/2013” into the rock.
The monument is a protected site where Capt. William Clark carved his signature into the rock — the only remaining physical evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s actual route — just off the Yellowstone River in 1806 about 25 miles west of Billings.
“It is very sad and disheartening that someone would have such little regard for such a historic site,” said Jeff Kitchens, manager of Pompeys Pillar. “We are hopeful that this incident raises public awareness about the negative impacts of vandalism.”