Sponsor ends funding for tourists who wandered through Yellowstone wonder
A photo from the High On Life SundayFundayz Facebook page is shown.
Published Tuesday, May 24, 2016 1:20PM PDT
A corporate sponsor will no longer be supporting the group of Vancouver tourists who wandered through a U.S. natural wonder to take photos.
A spokesperson for Bud Light told petitioners that it had done business with the "High On Life SundayFundayz" group in the past, but were not involved in the group's trip to Yellowstone National Park earlier this month. The company said they will not be doing business with the group in the future.
The comments were in response to an online petition, which gathered more than 21,000 signatures in the last week. The petition, posted by users under the name "Montana Mint," was posted a week after photos of the Vancouver filmmakers went viral online.
The four men posted pictures online of themselves next to Grand Prismatic Spring, a sensitive ecosystem in Yellowstone. The brightly coloured hot spring is a popular tourist destination, though visitors to the park are prohibited from approaching the area because of its sensitivity.
A video of the foursome taking photos off the boardwalk went viral, and they were identified as the "High On Life" group. The men issued an apology for their actions and said they would donate up to $5,000 to the park. Three of them have been named in a criminal complaint filed by park rangers.
The hot spring ecosystem is currently being assessed for damage, and rangers say they have been unable to contact or locate the crew.
One of the petition's creators, Rory Murphy, told CTV News that Montana residents are proud of their national parks and the experiences they provide to visitors.
"That's why when someone disrespects the natural habitat that so many have worked hard to preserve, we get frustrated," Murphy said.
"When a person enters a protected area, they risk permanently damaging the park for future generations."
Murphy said the parks educate visitors about proper behavior, but the petition was started to call for repercussions as a deterrent.
The petition called on the group's sponsors – Bud Light, Red Bull, Cocos Pure and Blueprint – to pull their funding of the group.
All four businesses have responded, saying that they had worked with the group in the past but were not sponsors of the Yellowstone trip, and would not be contributing funds in the future.