The Oregon Coast is known for it’s rugged and unique beauty and the sandstone pedestal called Duckbill Rock was one of landscape photographer’s favorite locations to capture. Even though the landmark was roped off to visitors, on the afternoon of August 29th, a group of three individuals approached the rock and started pushing on it. A man named David Kalas, who captured the infuriating act on video told the local news station KATU “I kind of laughed to myself cause I thought there was no way that they could knock it down but then I noticed that it started wobbling and then I started to record it as two of the guys managed to knock it down,”
So, there you have it. Concrete proof that the famed rock formation did not come down naturally. You would think people would learn from the mistakes of others, like the group of Canadian Filmmakers who trampled over Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring. But, apparently, not.
So what do we have to do in order to help educate people that destroying public lands for your personal satisfaction, or, “for the ‘gram” is not ok? I personally think that the inspiration that us photographers provide that encourage people to enjoy nature in this social media age is mostly positive. For each person out there who causes destruction, there is 1,000 who are able to fully enjoy the scene without leaving a trace. But I do think we will have these issues for years to come until laws that prosecute public land destruction become much more severe, and that the charges are actually being followed through on by government agencies. Find and write your local lawmakers and demand more severe punishment for this type of behavior. Also, donations can always help protect our public lands. I can’t recommend donating to the National Park Foundation enough. The National Park Service also has a list of ways you can contribute your time and effort. And if you wish to help the Oregon State Parks, they have a great page on their website on how you can help preserve Oregon’s unique beauty.
Since the destruction, photographers posted their favorite photos of the famous rock in remembrance, like this great shot from Colby Drake Design. Check out his Facebook and Instagram for more photos of Oregon’s beauty, which hopefully won’t be destroyed by careless vandals.
*Update* Statement from Oregon State Parks “The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, in cooperation with the Oregon State Police, will review the incident immediately and decide how best to respond. The department takes vandalism of a state park’s natural features seriously.”
If you have any information that may be helpful to authorities, please contact Oregon State Parks.