Getting lost in the woods: bad. Getting arrested for it? Serves you right. I’m Amy E. Feldman.
A man who went searching for a buried treasure in Yellowstone left a trail to go off into the wilderness late in the day wearing only jeans, a t-shirt and tennis shoes, and carrying a shovel and small backpack with no food in it. He’s 40. He got lost, spent the night cold and alone in an area populated by bears and wolves. He was rescued by helicopter the next day.
States that regularly deal with what authorities call “reckless adventuring” in state parks have laws that let the state bill a person for the cost of his rescue, if his conduct was reckless or negligent. Colorado went one step further—it charged him with disorderly conduct, saying he “recklessly creat[ed] a risk of public nuisance, [or] jeopardy”. He tried to argue that he wasn’t reckless, he just got lost and you can’t fault a guy for getting lost. Oh, but you can, the appeals court just ruled. The risk was obvious. Do better. Yeah, let’s all take heed.
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