Self-Described “Permit Outlaw” Sentenced for Threatening Grand Canyon Park Ranger

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (LAWFUEL) – Gary Clayton Palmer, 53, most recently living in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, pleaded guilty today to Threatening, Intimidating or Intentionally Interfering with a Grand Canyon Park Ranger. Palmer was also sentenced today by U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark E. Aspey to three years probation during which Palmer is banned from all National Parks in the U.S., including a 10-mile radius around the Grand Canyon National Park. He is also banned from the campus of Northern Arizona University.

The charges against Palmer stemmed from a threatening e-mail he sent in January 2009 to a Grand Canyon Backcountry Park Ranger who had cited Palmer in 2003 for camping without a permit in Grand Canyon National Park. Palmer was charged by a criminal complaint in February 2009 and arrested in March 2009 in Zion National Park in Utah. He had been in federal custody since his arrest pending the outcome of today’s hearing.

In addition to probation and the other conditions, Palmer is banned from contacting the park ranger and is obligated to undergo a mental health evaluation that will be followed by any necessary counseling. He must remain in Arizona and is able to leave only upon receiving permission from the Court.

Palmer has lived and worked near the National Parks for 30 years, including Yosemite, Zion, Grand Tetons and the Grand Canyon. He has convictions from these and other areas for various misdemeanors including Indecent Exposure, Disorderly Conduct and Camping without a Permit. In the past, Palmer posted messages on a Grand Canyon Hiking newsgroup in which he describes himself as a “permit outlaw.”

The investigation in this case was conducted by the National Park Service. The prosecution was handled by Camille Bibles, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Flagstaff.


RELEASE NUMBER: 2009-121(Palmer)

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