TikTok Influencer Is Fined After Hitting a Golf Ball Into the Grand Canyon

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U.S.|TikTok Influencer Is Fined After Hitting a Golf Ball Into the Grand Canyon


Katie Sigmond, who has astir 7 cardinal followers connected TikTok and posts workout and modeling videos, faced ineligible occupation aft the stunt.

Hikers astatine  the apical  of a stone  enactment    astatine  the Grand Canyon.
A TikTok creator posted a video showing her hitting a play shot and her play nine sailing aft it adjacent Mather Point, which is simply a fashionable viewing spot astatine the Grand Canyon.Credit...John Burcham for The New York Times

Dec. 5, 2022, 7:00 a.m. ET

Phone cameras were rolling, truthful the TikTok influencer bent her knees, adjusted her stance and swung her nine astatine a play shot that had been placed adjacent the borderline of a precipice astatine the Grand Canyon. The shot soared. The nine did, too, aft it flew retired of her hand.

“How did that happen,” asked the substance connected the clip, which was recorded connected Oct. 26 and posted connected TikTok the aforesaid day.

The authorities, however, appeared to person different question aft viewing the video: Who was liable for littering astatine 1 of the country’s astir iconic nationalist parks?

Tips came in, and instrumentality enforcement soon had a name: Katie Sigmond, an influencer with astir 7 cardinal followers connected TikTok who posts workout and modeling videos, arsenic good arsenic clips highlighting her play crippled astatine driving ranges and courses.

Her play plaything astatine the Grand Canyon, however, rapidly drew criticism, including from parkland officials.

“Do we truly request to say, ‘don’t deed play balls into the Grand Canyon?’” the Grand Canyon National Park said connected Instagram.

In summation to criticism, the stunt besides resulted successful ineligible occupation for Ms. Sigmond, who yet admitted to parkland rangers that she had been the 1 successful the video, according to Joelle Baird, a spokeswoman for Grand Canyon National Park’s Office of Public Affairs.

Ms. Baird said that Ms. Sigmond, 20, was initially charged with littering, tossing items into the Grand Canyon and creating hazardous conditions with disorderly conduct. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona precocious resolved her lawsuit done an out-of-court statement that resulted successful a fine, Ms. Baird said.

She did not cognize which charges were yet included successful the agreement, and the national prosecutor’s bureau did not instantly respond to calls and emails seeking comment.

Ms. Baird said she did not cognize the magnitude of the fine. But successful akin cases, fines tin scope astir $280, she said. The Arizona Republic reported connected the quality of Ms. Sigmond’s good connected Thursday.

Ms. Sigmond did not respond to an email seeking remark connected Saturday. The video of her play plaything astatine the Grand Canyon appears to person been deleted from her societal media pages.

The occurrence was the latest lawsuit of visitors misbehaving astatine the Grand Canyon, an occurrence that, successful the past, has motivated parkland officials to publically deride the actions of those who neglect to respect the treasured, eroded landscape.

In September of past year, the parkland posted a photograph of a padlock that had been placed connected a obstruction astatine the Grand Canyon with an inscription of “Alex + Cas.” The bureau did not find immoderate romanticist worth successful it, writing, “You whitethorn deliberation your padlock of emotion near connected the parkland obstruction is clever, but it won’t basal the trial of clip to our bolt cutters.” The station cited the imaginable dangers to wildlife.

The Park Service confronted a little rosy contented successful October 2020 erstwhile it reported a spike successful “the magnitude of quality discarded connected (or conscionable off) trail” astatine the Grand Canyon.

“No 1 other should request to grip your waste,” it said. And past summer, rangers astatine the Grand Canyon had a simple message to those tossing their cigarettes connected the adust mineral soil: “Bighorn sheep butts are cute! But cigaret butts, not truthful much.”

Ms. Baird said rangers had besides dealt with radical tossing baseballs, shot balls and different objects into the canyon.

“You sanction it, and radical propulsion it implicit the canyon,” she said, adding that “it’s 1 of these things that unluckily happens clip and clip again.”

Grand Canyon officials said Ms. Sigmond had tossed her nine and deed the play shot adjacent Mather Point, which offers a panoramic presumption of the canyon’s aggregate layers of exposed rock.

“Throwing objects implicit the rim of the canyon is not lone amerciable but tin besides endanger hikers and wildlife who whitethorn beryllium below,” parkland officials said.

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