On Friday, August 31, after approximately four weeks of investigation, Grand Canyon National Park rangers arrested 42-year old Brian Thompson of Cottonwood, Arizona, for conducting commercial operations in a national park without a permit. He was arrested after he received payment to guide a multi-day backpacking trip into the canyon. Thompson’s arrest came about due to the National Park Service’s routine monitoring of backcountry use and permitting in the park.
On September 12, Thompson appeared in the U.S. District Court of Arizona and pleaded guilty to violating Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 5.3, Engaging in Business without a Permit. As a result, he was ordered to pay a $200 fine and was sentenced to a one year term of probation, during which time he is banned from Grand Canyon National Park, cannot provide tours or guiding services (paid or unpaid) in any national park or national forest, and cannot advertise that he conducts tours or guiding services in national forests or national parks.
The National Park Service would like to remind everyone that a permit is required in order to offer commercial guiding services in Grand Canyon National Park. To learn more about acquiring a permit, please, visit the park’s web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/cua.htm.