Vanessa Hudgens’ public declaration of love could cost her

❤️❤️ @austinbutler #sedonadreams

A photo posted by Vanessa Hudgens (@vanessahudgens) on

We’ve all been there, right? In love, wanting to memorialize that special moment in some way. Some opt for a photo, some for a (most likely ill-advised) tattoo, some want to just leave their mark at a special place. High School Musical alum Vanessa Hudgens should have opted for a tat or photo, as her impulsively romantic gesture has landed her in hot water.

Vanessa recently spent a romantic holiday with beau Austin Butler in the Sedona, Arizona desert. And, as many young lovers are apt to do, wanted to create a lasting reminder of this romantic rendezvous to revisit for years to come. Unfortunately, the couple decided to celebrate their love by carving their names into one of the area’s federally protected red rock formations. The couple might have gotten away with their antics if Vanessa hadn’t chosen to post the photo of their handiwork on her Instagram page. The photo of the carving, a crudely drawn heart with the inscription “Austin + Vanessa” has since been deleted from Vanessa’s page, but she did leave up a photo of her and Austin canoodling in the desert with the caption #sedonadreams.

The photo of the carving attracted the attention of authorities at the Coconino National Forest, where the rock currently resides. Vanessa and Austin’s actions violated a federal law prohibiting anyone from “damaging natural surfaces or property of the United States.” A spokesman for Coconino, Brady Smith, told Us Weekly that “This incident is currently under investigation, so there is not much I can share specifically since I am not privy to the details of an investigation until it is complete. However, I can say that the issue of people carving their names and other things in rocks in the Sedona and surrounding area is always a challenge we face, and try to inform people about its destructive nature. We have found that when one person carves something, it encourages others to carve.”

The couple could face a fine of up to $5,000 or six months behind bars for their actions. I don’t think Vanessa is going to have to channel her inner Rizzo from Grease Live and stick it out in women’s prison, but I do think she’ll be writing a check to the Coconino National Forest. Deservedly so. There’s no reason to deface our country’s beautiful natural resources for a relationship that hasn’t (yet) involved a ring or a name change. Why not stick to pics and/or ink?

photo credit: WENN and Getty

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66 Responses to “Vanessa Hudgens’ public declaration of love could cost her”

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  1. Belle Epoch says:

    FREAKING IDIOT! Can you tell I’m offended? The natural world does not exist so this know-nothing can deface it.

  2. NewWester says:

    If the relationship crashes and burns, a photo can be deleted/torn up. Carving that into a rock (or getting a tattoo) will be a constant reminder. Can you imagine if Vanessa and Austin get into a beef on social media? The amount of people that would repost that photo just to be a troll would be insane.

  3. Sixer says:

    Stonehenge got ruined for visitors because people insisted on doing ignorant shiznit like this. What a pair of arses.

  4. Alex says:

    Sorry but this is so insulting. Celebs think they have a right to do whatever and this was just beyond stupid. I hope they slap them with a fine and maybe some community service for the park.

  5. Louise177 says:

    I haven’t been to a major national park but were there signs? I wouldn’t have thought anything of it since carving into treas and rocks isn’t unusual. Based on the response from the park. they are going to go after Vanessa. She’s too high profile for a slap on the wrist.

  6. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    Every so often my distaste or indifference for a celeb drops a little if they seem to accomplish something positive (Grease performance after her Father died) and then just as quickly will rise all over again when they screw it up.

    Well Vanessa, your name is mud in my book again. Idiot.

  7. sing it says:

    “as many young lovers are apt to do.” except she’s really NOT that young. she’s 27, which is young in the grand scheme of life, but is still old enough to know better. vanessa is not some high school kid in the throes of a first love. she’s a grown woman, and austin is a grown man. i hope they BOTH get fined.

  8. Patricia says:

    This is undeniably a bad, thoughtless and self involved choice.
    However I can give her a pass (once she’s paid a big fee to the park) and let this be a learning experience. She’ll never do anything like this again, and if she has kids she will surely tell them not to as well.

    Maybe I have a soft spot for this mistake because my dad was always carving our names into trees, to some people it’s not that outrageous. A mistake like this isn’t that hard for me to understand. She’s always seemed like a nice person. Just let her make amends, learn her lesson and move on.

  9. Franny Days says:

    I think she would have been smart right when this came out to make a huge apology and a really generous donation. She should have said she realizes her mistake and would like to raise awareness so people don’t do what she did. Just deleting the picture and acting like it never happened is obviously not the way to go.

    • Nikki says:

      FRANNY, you had an interesting take on this. I HATE it when people disrespect our county and national parks, and she should have known better. But if you do a bonehead thing like she did, you are right; she could have been much more publicly apologetic.

  10. Christine says:

    I don’t understand all the anger? It’s sad that landmarks are messed up, but it seems like everything is carved into or marked up these days. And if there were already carvings there, they probably didn’t think twice about doing it because they assumed it was okay.

  11. Rhiley says:

    I was in the Sedona Red Rocks State Park early last fall, and it is truly a spectacular, wild, colorful place. Her decision to do this shows lack of respect of maturity. People go there and have near religious experiences, and for her to “leave her mark” so to speak is disgraceful. She needs to apologize, pay up, and then try to work with awesome rangers and park officials there to see if there is a way to clean it up. And while she is washing her mark off the rock, maybe she can wash that awful smirk off her face.

  12. EM says:

    We must always remember that 99% of actors are all stupid. The smart ones are the exception, e.g. Geena Davis,.
    Hudgens belongs in the stupid camp.
    This soppy and pathetic declaration is nothing but vandalism.

  13. Nilber says:

    I’m not taking up for her or her boyfriend. The whole idea of “grand”proclamations of love make me giggle but they have been around forever. Poor judgement? Definitely! Punishment is needed and needs to be publized so other youngsters take note. I am all about preservation it is necessary but they made a stupid mistake and with the attention they can make a teaching moment for kids. Again I’m not giving them a pass I just don’t feel they are quite the villains they are being made out to be.
    People do realize her boyfriend was there too…right?

  14. Kate says:

    Celebrities. SMH. They all seem to believe they’re demigods.

  15. Lucy2 says:

    Anytime I see a landmark or something like this defaced by idiots, it breaks my heart a little. It’s just so selfish and thoughtless. I hope they have to pay the maximum, and they should publicly apologize.

  16. Neelyo says:

    I’ve always thought she was an idiot, this just confirms it again.

  17. Crumpet says:

    There is some deep ingrained need in human beings to leave their mark on rocks. It has been going on since we lived in caves and drew and carved on the walls. The pioneers carved their initials on rocks as they passed through on their way to California. Members of the Donner party carved their initials on rocks. It is an interesting phenomenon, to be sure. But we need to curb this urge if we want to leave our beautiful parks in their natural state.

  18. ell says:

    ok. vanessa is 1 year older than me and i’m just?? anyone over the age of 16 who does stuff like this baffles me.

  19. msw says:

    Argghhh. This stuff bugs me so much. Why does anyone think we want to see their chicken scratches on anything, let alone a protected area?

  20. OrigialTessa says:

    Excuse the pun, but she wasn’t born under a rock. She knew it was illegal, and she did it anyway, and then she posted it on social media like an entitled dip-shit. Entitled destructive brat is all I can come away with here. She doesn’t care that she’s defaced a piece of treasured property. If she did, she wouldn’t have done it in the first place. I walk gingerly and tread lightly in National Parks. I can’t even imagine the ego one must have to leave a permanent mark like that and think it’s cute.

  21. Spike says:

    Career fail. The signs areobviou s. She gets no pass from me. The idea of of tread lightly, noted above is taken seriously, even for rented private property.

    Even for states, like mine – Rhode Island, the Department of Environmental Management is extremely strict about hiking and camping in state forests. This isn’t your tree in your backyard. The defacement is there forever. It encourages others to do this because it appears to be acceptable. She’ll get off. My view will probably viewed is a wacko environmentalist. I’m not, but I’ve had experience with this as a hiker & with a friend in a 4 wheeling club in the US.

  22. LC says:

    I live in Flagstaff which is right around the corner from Sedona. There is no way they didn’t see the signs. I really hope Coconino county slaps both of them with a large fine

  23. I Choose Me says:

    Don’t think she should be tarred and feathered but I’m all in favour of a hefty fine. She ought to have known better. Why she or he thought it was a good idea in the first place is beyond me.

    Sedona is one of the many places I’d like to visit before I die. I find desert landscapes so beautiful. It’s almost like another world sometimes and it just gives me a feeling of both awe and peace.

  24. pinetree13 says:

    Make an example of them. Let her pick up Litter as community service for a few days. That would be a good way to pay back for the wrong I think.

  25. Emily C. says:

    She’s 27 years old! I knew this stuff was wrong when I was SEVEN. I give no pass to people who pull this kind of crap, it utterly disgusts me. She and her boyfriend are nothing but selfish, stupid brats.

  26. Portugal the Stan says:

    I wonder if 90% of the regulars that post on this site can see the little people around them from their pedestals of perfection, politically correctness, failure to see any view that differs from their own, and/or soapbox. Apparently, there is only one opinion or point of view and that is the CORRECT one from their standpoint. Must be nice to be so “perfect” all of the time.

  27. Hazel says:

    People, people, people, it’s the Coconino National Forest, it is NOT a National Park. There’s no entry fee to Forests, although you may, at some, pay a fee at campgrounds. Anyhoo, a whole host of environmental laws apply to National Forests, as well as National Parks, but the biggest difference between the two is that the Forest Service had a multi-use mission (logging, recreation, etcetera.), whereas Parks are more about preservation & conservation. Both agencies adhere to NEPA, the NHPA, the ESA, the Clean Air & Water Act, and so on (am typing on my phone so I’m leaning on the acronyms). The FS, as I mentioned, will delineate certain areas as being of botanical interest, natural areas, wilderness areas, etc., which curtail some of those multi-use activities. So visit your local National Forest, it’s free!