Famous Utah Photographer Arrested for Setting Fires in National Parks for Visual Effects

Famous Utah Photographer Arrested for Setting Fires in National Parks for Visual Effects

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October 21st, 2001, 6:41 am #1

Here's his web site:
http://www.fatali.com/

Here's a disturbing story out of Salt Lake City:
Springdale nature photographer Michael Fatali was charged Friday with starting unauthorized fires in two southern Utah national parks.

The seven misdemeanor charges filed in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City allege Fatali, to achieve lighting effects, started fires that scorched and discolored sections of sandstone beneath and next to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.

Two of the charges allege Fatali also started fires at locations in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park in August 1997 that damaged park resources.

http://www.sltrib.com/10202001/utah/141799.htm
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Lynn Arave
Lynn Arave

October 22nd, 2001, 1:19 pm #2

I have a friend who hiked to Delicate Arch soon after the incident and he said you can't see any scars.
Maybe the Park Service cleaned it off somehow.
However, add the incident last summer of the Boy Scouts in Utah who damaged some dinosauar tracks and you've got to wonder what people are thinking when they act this way.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

October 25th, 2001, 4:18 pm #3

Here's his web site:
http://www.fatali.com/

Here's a disturbing story out of Salt Lake City:
Springdale nature photographer Michael Fatali was charged Friday with starting unauthorized fires in two southern Utah national parks.

The seven misdemeanor charges filed in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City allege Fatali, to achieve lighting effects, started fires that scorched and discolored sections of sandstone beneath and next to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.

Two of the charges allege Fatali also started fires at locations in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park in August 1997 that damaged park resources.

http://www.sltrib.com/10202001/utah/141799.htm
I live in and love the natural beauty of the Southwest.
Shame on Fatali.
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roger
roger

October 26th, 2001, 3:55 pm #4

Here's his web site:
http://www.fatali.com/

Here's a disturbing story out of Salt Lake City:
Springdale nature photographer Michael Fatali was charged Friday with starting unauthorized fires in two southern Utah national parks.

The seven misdemeanor charges filed in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City allege Fatali, to achieve lighting effects, started fires that scorched and discolored sections of sandstone beneath and next to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.

Two of the charges allege Fatali also started fires at locations in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park in August 1997 that damaged park resources.

http://www.sltrib.com/10202001/utah/141799.htm
00-661 - Arches NP (UT) - Follow-up: Resource Violations

On the morning of September 19, 2000, visitors reported that fires had
been set in the area immediately around Delicate Arch. Investigating
rangers found that four fires had apparently been lit on the previous
night, one of which was still smoldering. Three of the fires, set on
bare rock and sand directly underneath and beside Delicate Arch,
caused scorching and discoloration of the red sandstone. Efforts by
local park staff to restore the fire scars were unsuccessful, in part
because of the presence of an oily or waxy substance that stained and
penetrated into the rock surface beneath each of the scars. An
intensive investigation led to the identification of Michael Fatali,
36, of Springdale, Utah, as the man who had set the fires. On October
19th, Fatali was charged in federal court with several violations of
federal law in connection with these fires and others set at
Canyonlands NP. Fatali, who apparently used the fires as a
photographic technique, is charged with injuring or defacing mineral
resources in a national park; unauthorized fire in a national park;
lighting or using a fire that damages or burns national park
resources; leaving a fire unextinguished on public lands; and aiding
and abetting. Each of the seven misdemeanor counts carries a potential
maximum prison sentence of six months and a fine of up to $5,000.
Investigators believe that Fatali used Duraflame logs to start several
of the fires, and that Fatali started similar fires about four years
ago at Horsehoof Arch and in a slot canyon known as "The Joint Trail,"
both in Canyonlands NP. Restoration work on the Arches burns was
completed on October 20th. Two of the three fire scars are no longer
visible, and the worst of the three fire scars - the one directly
beneath the arch - looks much better than before, though still
visible. The rehabilitation project was undertaken by Bob Hartzler,
NPS architectural conservator from Santa Fe, with assistance from
Angelyn Rivera of Bandelier NM. Hartzler has described their efforts
as follows: "Our treatments were conservative, consistent with our
practice of balancing treatment effectiveness against the impact of
the treatments on the monument. Most of the soot staining remaining on
the sandstone is firmly adhered in the top millimeter of the stone,
and proved to be resistant to treatments with either of the two
cleaning preparations we brought. Spot tests with a small range of
over-the-counter cleaning products also proved mostly ineffective.
Cleaning efforts by the park and a year of weathering and natural
erosion have removed most of the primarily surface soiling. We were
able to remove all of the melted plastic-like deposits... Mechanical
removal of the top layer of the soiled stone would eliminate the
remaining soiling, but we believe that treatment is not warranted, and
do not recommended it. Some soiling remains, but I believe the
appearance of the damaged areas was improved, and the stains will
continue to fade." [Karen McKinlay-Jones, ARCH, 10/22]
http://www.nps.gov/morningreport/msg01013.html
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roger
roger

February 17th, 2002, 3:21 pm #5

Here's his web site:
http://www.fatali.com/

Here's a disturbing story out of Salt Lake City:
Springdale nature photographer Michael Fatali was charged Friday with starting unauthorized fires in two southern Utah national parks.

The seven misdemeanor charges filed in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City allege Fatali, to achieve lighting effects, started fires that scorched and discolored sections of sandstone beneath and next to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.

Two of the charges allege Fatali also started fires at locations in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park in August 1997 that damaged park resources.

http://www.sltrib.com/10202001/utah/141799.htm
On the morning of September 19, 2000, visitors reported that fires had been set in the area immediately around Delicate Arch. Investigating rangers found that four fires had apparently been lit on the previous night, one of which was still smoldering. Three of the fires, set on bare rock and sand directly underneath and beside Delicate Arch, caused scorching and discoloration of the red sandstone. Efforts by local park staff to restore the fire scars were unsuccessful, in part because of the presence of an oily or waxy substance that stained and penetrated into the rock surface beneath each of the scars. An intensive investigation led to the identification of Michael Fatali, 36, of Springdale, Utah, as the man who had set the fires. On October 19,2001, Fatali was charged in federal court with several violations of federal law in connection with these fires and others set at Canyonlands NP. Restoration efforts were largely successful. Two of the three fire scars are no longer visible, and the worst of the three fire scars ? the one directly beneath the arch ? looks much better than before, though still visible. On December 7, 2001, Fatali pled guilty to seven misdemeanor charges for injuring/defacing mineral resources in a national park, setting an unauthorized fire in a national park, lighting/using a fire that damaged or burned park resources, leaving a fire unextinguished on public lands, and aiding and abetting. As a part of the plea agreement, Fatali agreed to "personally make full restitution to the National Park Service (Arches NP and Canyonlands NP) for the offenses charged." The park subsequently recently received a cashier's check in the amount of $10,922.90. On February 1st, Fatali was sentenced to two years' probation, during which time he will not be allowed to enter Canyonlands or Arches National Parks. He will also be serving 150 hours of community service. [Karen McKinlay-Jones, ARCH, 2/12]
http://www.nps.gov/morningreport/msg01083.html

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February 26th, 2002, 2:14 pm #6

An Interior Department appeals officer has halted oil exploration just outside of Arches National Park in Utah, saying that letting the project proceed could cause irreparable harm.
The exploration is taking place a few miles from the northern border of the park, a 76,518-acre preserve known for its 2,000 arches carved by wind and water from sheer red sandstone cliffs. The Interior Department's director of appeals, Robert S. More, issued the stay Saturday night.
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/26/natio ... r=MOREOVER
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roger
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November 1st, 2002, 3:46 pm #7

WASHINGTON -- A federal judge has temporarily blocked the Interior Department from permitting oil exploration on thousands of acres of public wilderness on the eastern boundary of Utah's Arches National Park, a setback for the Bush administration's drive to expand oil and gas exploration in southern Utah and throughout the Rocky Mountain region.

The ruling Wednesday in Washington by U.S. District Judge James Robertson temporarily halted plans by WesternGeco, a major seismic exploration company, to search for oil and gas in the Dome Plateau region, a 23,000-acre expanse of wilderness popular with hikers and mountain bikers and home to the black-footed ferret, Mexican spotted owl and other endangered species.

More:
http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la- ... %2Dscience
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 26th, 2004, 4:24 pm #8

A federal appeals court Tuesday upheld dismissal of a lawsuit that challenged voluntary restrictions imposed on tourists walking beneath Rainbow Bridge in southern Utah because of its significance to American Indians.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the two plaintiffs did not have the proper legal standing to bring the lawsuit against the National Park Service.
The lawsuit was filed in March 2000 by the Natural Arch and Bridge Society and five other people. They alleged that Park Service policies meant to prevent visitors from approaching the rock span violated the restriction on government establishment of religion in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit also claimed equal protection guarantees were violated.
The lawsuit came after the Park Service adopted a policy of asking tourists not to approach or walk under Rainbow Bridge, the world's longest natural stone arch, in southern Utah on the shores of Lake Powell. The policy said neighboring Indian tribes consider the arch sacred.
U.S. District Judge Bruce Jenkins dismissed the case in April 2002, saying the Park Service policies do "not coerce visitors into practicing the Native American religion associated with the belief about not walking under the Rainbow God." He also ruled that the Natural Arch and Bridge Society and four of the five individual plaintiffs did not have proper legal standing to bring the suit.
Two of the plaintiffs, Evelyn Johnson and Earl DeWaal, appealed to the 10th Circuit Court. That court ruled that Johnson and DeWaal did not meet standards for showing they would be harmed by the Park Service policy and dismissed their appeals.
http://www.sltrib.com/2004/Mar/03252004/utah/150984.asp
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