Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Posts
Half Dome from the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park

The Moon is Waxing Gibbous (89% of Full)


Advanced

Re: Man Convicted Of Operating Illegal Business in Grand Canyon National Park

All posts are those of the individual authors and the owner of this site does not endorse them. Content should be considered opinion and not fact until verified independently.

avatar Man Convicted Of Operating Illegal Business in Grand Canyon National Park
July 22, 2014 11:34AM
On October 19, 2013, rangers in the backcountry of Grand Canyon National Park became suspicious of the large number of hikers attempting to hike from the North Rim to the South Rim in a single day (known as a “Rim to Rim” hike). The hikers claimed to be hiking only with a small number of friends and not as part of a large group, but many appeared to be avoiding contact with rangers and they all described similar travel arrangements.

Subsequent investigations revealed that Scott Beck of Phoenix, Arizona, had chartered five buses to transport nearly 300 people to Grand Canyon National Park to hike across the canyon. Beck advertised the hike as the “23rd Annual” trip of a similar nature and charged each participant a set fee. Investigations also revealed that he had specifically instructed each hiker, both verbally and in a written itinerary, to tell rangers that they were “not with a group of 300,” that they were with a small group and had been transported by car or van.

The large number of hikers in the canyon that day caused impacts to vegetation and created long lines at the Phantom Ranch canteen and restroom facilities. The Phantom wastewater treatment operator reported that the sewage treatment plant was operating at capacity. Rangers took complaints from hikers who complained about congestion on the trails. Several minor medicals and search and rescue operations were also attributed to Beck’s group.

During interviews, Beck claimed that his trip was “organized” but not commercial, and that he had not profited. In January 2013, rangers served a search warrant on an online event registration website that Beck had used to solicit trip participants and collect fees. The evidence gathered from the search warrant was used to develop probable cause to charge Beck with engaging in an illegal business operation (36 CFR 5.3) and making false statements (18 USC 1001(a)(2)). Rangers estimated that Beck’s gross income for this event was over $47,000, and he profited by approximately $9,500.

On June 10th, Beck was convicted on one count of engaging in business operations without obtaining a permit in violation of 36 CFR 5.3. Pursuant to a plea agreement, he was sentenced to a year of probation, during which time he is banned from Grand Canyon National Park and from conducting or advertising for any tours or guided trips on national park or national forest lands. He was also fined $500 and ordered to serve 50 hours of community service.

Beck has since formally notified all trip participants that he will no longer be conducting his annual trip, and has pledged to donate $2,000 to Grand Canyon National Park.

The investigation was led by rangers and conducted with the assistance of Investigative Services Branch special agents.
So 23 years of operating this scheme. At profit of $9,500 a year this guy made almost a quarter of a million dollars and gets off with a $500 fine, 50 hours, and $2,000 pledge. I wonder what the $37,500 of expenses were.

His webpage at rerez.com is taken down but the Facebook page with comments is still up.

https://www.facebook.com/CactusCrossFit/posts/182431658469592
avatar Re: Man Convicted Of Operating Illegal Business in Grand Canyon National Park
July 22, 2014 03:22PM
Quote
eeek

Beck advertised the hike as the “23rd Annual” trip of a similar nature...

I kinda wonder why the rangers at GCNP didn't notice the similar mobs in previous years...

.
Re: Man Convicted Of Operating Illegal Business in Grand Canyon National Park
July 22, 2014 10:27PM
I was on the periphery of a similar incident in Yellowstone. An east coast commercial tour operation carried documents to claim they were an educational group and gained free entry for at least several years. A supervisory ranger waited until the tour guide signed the fee waiver affidavit, then demanded the bus trip charter documents - gotcha! Subsequent buses declared themselves as commercial.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login