Hiker sparks outrage over family who vandalized national forest

"Turning to the Douchebag Dad, I stated you know your letting your kids deface federal public land? How is this ok??? Daughter says Umm, we can do what we or I want," writes Brett Nelson in the caption of a photo he uploaded to Facebook. Photo courtesy of Nelson
“Turning to the Douchebag Dad, I stated you know your letting your kids deface federal public land? How is this ok??? Daughter says Umm, we can do what we or I want,” writes Brett Nelson in the caption of a photo he uploaded to Facebook. Photo: Courtesy of Brett Nelson

On May 2, Oregon hiker Brett Nelson uploaded a picture to his Facebook page of a California family he claims defaced a railing at Tumalo Falls Park in Deschutes National Forest.

Nelson snapped a photo of the alleged vandals—a father and two children—and posted it to social media after the family refused his requests to leave the railing alone.

“The most unbelievable Douche’-Bag [sic] parenting I have ever encountered. PROUD parent letting children carve names in tumalo falls hand railing [sic],” Nelson wrote on the photo’s caption.

"All I was trying to do was ask someone to stop doing something, and the reaction was completely opposite of what I thought would occur," Nelson (pictured) told KGW on Monday. Photo courtesy of Nelson
“All I was trying to do was ask someone to stop doing something, and the reaction was completely opposite of what I thought would occur,” Nelson (pictured) told KGW on Monday. Photo courtesy of Nelson

Nelson says that he then asked the father to give him his license-plate number so that he could return the favor on the hood of his car.

“He says go for it it’s a rental,” writes Nelson. “Oregonians take huge pride in our land… and you are not welcome SHAME ON YOU!! Taking a picture of the proud Douche-Bag [sic] artists and their proud work!! Please share I hope he finds himself on channel 6 NEWS!”

Almost instantly, angry commenters took up the cause and launched a nationwide hunt for the family, amassing more than 53,000 shares on Facebook. The vandalism is currently on the U.S. Forest Service’s radar.

“We take this very seriously,” writes Kassidy Kern, a public-affairs spokesperson for the Deschutes National Forest, in a statement for KTVZ. “Metal rail or not, this is still considered the property of the United States. Kudos to [Nelson] for bringing this to our attention.”

Graffiti artist Casey Nocket sparked widespread outrage last year for defaced multiple national parks. Photos pulled from Nocket's Instagram account (since deleted)
Graffiti artist Casey Nocket sparked widespread outrage last year for defacing multiple national parks. Photos: Courtesy of Nocket’s Instagram account (since deleted)

This breed of vigilante justice on social media is becoming increasingly popular among nature lovers vying to protect their favorite parks and landscapes. Last year, Instagram graffiti artist Casey Nocket (aka Creepytings) launched widespread outrage for posting pictures of her paint tags in multiple national parks.

RELATED: Graffiti artist “Mr. Andre” pays National Park service fine

Outside reports that popular Instagram photographer Trevor Less pled guilty last fall in federal court because he climbed trees and made campfires in places where those activities where banned.

If this new trio is caught, they are facing massive fines and up to six months in jail. The lesson here? Be careful who’s watching you when you’re about to deface a natural place. Or, you know … don’t do it. Have a tip? Call Deschutes National Forest at (541) 383-5300.

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