A vice president with the company that runs concessions at Yosemite National Park is out of a job after a video surfaced showing him hitting a golf ball into a protected meadow.
“That hit the rock,” Michael Grisar, who was vice president of operations for Yosemite Hospitality, bragged after hitting the ball into the fragile Yosemite Valley landscape.
A spokesperson for parent company Aramark told The Fresno Bee that Grisar was no longer with the organization.
Here’s the video of him hitting his ball into Ahwahnee Meadow:
According to SFGate, leaving the ball in the meadow would be considered littering while walking into the meadow to retrieve it would involve trampling on its delicate and protected ecosystem.
Current and former park employees were livid after viewing the video.
“I’m not a violent person,” Tammy Hays, who worked there for 16 years, told Fox26 in Fresno. “But I wanted to whack him with his own golf club and kick him right out of the park.”
The National Park Service said the meadows of Yosemite Valley have been reduced by more than half, from 700 acres centuries ago to about 300 today, leading to the protections that are currently in place. Those protections include limiting foot traffic to specific marked trails and boardwalks.
“Repeated trampling kills plants, cuts the sod to expose soil below the rooting zone soil, and increases erosion,” NPS said on its website, adding:
“Too much soil compaction can also reduce the ability of meadow soils to hold the shallow watertable that is vital for the health of meadow vegetation. Wherever you go in Yosemite, tread lightly and avoid decorating nature’s meadows with footprints and tire tracks.”
Yosemite National Park spokesperson Scott Gediman told the Bee that Grisar later apologized for his actions.
“However, we need to be crystal clear that this type of activity is prohibited and violates park rules and regulations,” Gediman said. “Yosemite National Park is a sacred place and its care and stewardship is the responsibility of all park employees and visitors.”
The Grisar family previously made headlines when Michael’s son, Riley Grisar, was caught on video using racial epithets and declaring “white power” last year.