The Boy Scouts of America blasted two Utah leaders who gleefully toppled a boulder from a Jurassic-era rock formation in a state park and said they could face punishment by the organization, in addition to possible criminal charges.
"We are shocked and disappointed by this reprehensible behavior," Deron Smith, a spokesman for the venerable scouting group, said in a statement on Friday as police and prosecutors investigated the incident.
Smith said the 3.7 million children and adults who participate in scouting are supposed to adhere to the principle of "Leave No Trace" when exploring the great outdoors.
"The isolated actions of these individuals are absolutely counter to our beliefs and what we teach," Smith said. "We are reviewing this matter and will take appropriate action."
County law enforcement is looking into possible charges against the duo, Glenn Taylor and Dave Hall, for disturbing a formation estimated to be 170 million years old.
A recording they made — which was posted to YouTube by the Salt Lake Tribune — shows how the boulder was perched on a small ledge that appears no more than a foot or two wide.
Taylor and Hall cheered and high-fived after they toppled the rock. As one Taylor was jostling it loose, Hall sang a 1990 dance-party hit: "Wiggle it — just a little bit."
"We have now modified Goblin Valley," he declared.
Utah authorities were unamused.
"This is not behavior that is appreciated or should exist in state parks," Eugene Swalberg, a spokesman for the park system, told the Deseret News. "This has been formed for literally millions of years, and it's supposed to last for a long time. It doesn't need individuals doing the work of Mother Nature."
Hall and Taylor told the newspaper that they meant no harm.
"Neither one of us were out there intending to do illegal activity," Hall said. "It just made sense to us at the time — remove the danger so that we don't have to hear about somebody dying."
Taylor said: "If we were defacing property, if we had been going around knocking over all kinds of rocks, I would feel really guilty. As it is, I feel guilty because I have a conscience. But my conscience also says I did the right thing."