Four tourists will have to pay a US$5,700 fine each for marking with the tires of their quadricycles Argentina’s protected Pumice Stone Field in the Catamarca province, damage from which the natural area will take between 30 and 40 years to recover.
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These people, who came from Buenos Aires, climbed on Tuesday to the slope of the White Volcano, one of the highest elevations in the Pumice Stone Field, by ignoring all signs and indications that forbade passage.
“The tourists apologized but what they provoked is inadmissible,” the Catamarca Province Ranger Division Chief Wilson Solohaga stated, stressing that the quads left visible traces because the volcano slope has a thin and sensitive layer.
"Since these practices are unfortunately common, we have to bet on change by denouncing and severely punishing those who perpetrate them," the Catamarca Province Biodiversity and Protected Natural Areas Director Carlos Barrionuevo said.
Declared protected area in 2012, The 25-km Pumice Stone Field has over 5,000 rock formations that look like petrified waves.
Its White Volcano slope, also known as White Hill, comprises one of the largest Latin American volcanic ash deposits stemming from an eruption 5,000 years ago.