Video Of People Toppling "Duckbill" Leads To Further Investigation

Sep 5, 2016

The toppling and destruction of a sandstone formation at a state park site in Tillamook County is now being investigated as a possible case of vandalism.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports:

The "Duckbill" sandstone pedestal at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area before -and after- it was toppled.
Credit Thomas Shahan, (top) and Chelsea Rutherford, KATU News (bottom)

Oregon Parks and Recreation officials say they and police are reviewing a tourist’s video that shows visitors at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area pushing over what’s called the “duckbill” last week.  The rock pedestal measured about 7 to 10 feet across.

Chris Havel is a Parks and Recreation spokesman.  He says before the video surfaced, officials didn’t know for sure people were involved.

“Under state park rules, single acts of vandalism carry a fine of up to $435," says Havel. "Criminal charges are completely up to the Oregon State Police.  We don’t have any law enforcement folks inside the department, we only enforce park rules. 

"But within those park rules, there are fines.  And there’s also exclusion from the park.  We can ban somebody from being able to visit one or more particular parks, depending on their behavior.” 

Havel says acts of vandalism are few and far between, despite the 45 million visitors to Oregon’s state parks every year. 

The Duckbill sandstone pedestal was a favorite subject for many coastal photographers.
Credit Nathan Zaremskiy

The incident happened in a fenced-off area of the park. 

Two years ago, two Boy Scout leaders were fined more than $2,000 for toppling over a similar structure in a Utah state park.