MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS – A man who trespassed on Yellowstone National Park’s Grand Prismatic Spring was sentenced by a federal judge to four days in jail on Tuesday.
It's not the first time people have been punished for walking on the mats.
He appeared via phone in the courtroom of Judge Mark Carman in Mammoth on Tuesday.
Although Nguyen originally had a plea deal to pay $1,540 in fines, Carman handed down jail time to the 28-year-old, in addition to a $1,040 fine, one year’s unsupervised probation, and a one year ban from the America’s first national park.
It is illegal to walk on the microbial mats, which are protected by federal law. Walking on the mats can cause lasting harm to the delicate bacteria.
Nguyen, who lives in California, will be serving his jail time over the course of several weekends.