Vanessa Hudgens may have paid up when the US Forest Service fined her $1,000 for carving a heart and the words “Austin + Vanessa” on a rock wall last Valentine’s Day, but the actress and former Disney star was quick to defend her actions on SiriusXM radio show “Sway in the Morning,” reports New York magazine’s Vulture.
Hudgens’s fine, issued April 2016, went toward the organization Friends of the Forest, which takes care of removing acts of vandalism. The incident took place at the Coconino National Forest in Sedona, Arizona, while she was on a hike with boyfriend Austin Butler.
“Literally I took a piece of rock and wrote on the rock, so it’s the type of thing where it’s chalk,” Hudgens explained. “If you rub it, it comes off, so I knew that, like, with the first rain it would go away.”
Despite Hudgens’s good intentions, defacing natural features overseen by the National Forest Service is a violation of federal law.
“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,” said Coconino National Forest Public Affairs Officer Brady Smith to US Weekly. “We have found that when one person carves something, it encourages others to carve.”
“It was just a whole situation, it was really frustrating,” Hudgens added, noting that she had “donated a lot of money to the park to say sorry.” She insisted, “I’m such an earth person, I love Mother Nature.”
In the end, however, the only person she had to blame is herself. When one of the show hosts asked “who snitched?” Hudgens admitted, “I posted it on Instagram.”
The photo, featuring the hashtag “#SedonaDreams,” was later deleted.
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