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After pleas, pro BASE jumper vows not to leap in national parks

Apr 9, 2020, 5:57 AM
FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2015, file photo, Zion National Park is shown near Springdale, Utah. A pro...
FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2015, file photo, Zion National Park is shown near Springdale, Utah. A professional jumper vowed Wednesday, April 8, 2020, not to leap anymore from cliffs inside national parks after he pleaded guilty to doing it twice in Zion National Park in Utah. Marshall Miller, 42, of Alpine, Utah, said he will respect a law that prohibits recreational BASE jumping in all national parks and will discourage his fellow jumpers to stay out. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A professional BASE jumper vowed Wednesday not to leap anymore from cliffs inside national parks after he pleaded guilty to doing it twice in Zion National Park in Utah.

Marshall Miller, 42, of Alpine, Utah, said he will respect a law that prohibits recreational BASE jumping in all national parks and will discourage his fellow jumpers to stay out.

Two people have died since 2013 while BASE jumping in Zion National Park.

“The people in the park were awesome to work with and I’ll respect their wishes not to have BASE jumpers in the park,” Miller said.

Miller recently pleaded guilty in connection with his jump on March 28 that led to his detention by rangers who saw him make the jump after getting a tip ahead of time, Zion National Park officials said in a news release.

Miller also pleaded guilty to making a jump in the park in early 2018. The court fined Miller $5,000 and banned him from the park for two years, officials said.

Miller said he’s made more than 5,000 jumps in the past two decades. He said jumping in his wing suit is his love and passion. Miller has videos of his jumps on his website and social media platforms.

“I do this in a safe way, but unfortunately in our beautiful national parks it’s illegal to do this activity,” Miller said. “I wish it was legal, of course, but that’s a little above my pay-grade to change the laws on that.”

Miller made the recent wingsuit jump from an area called the Great White Throne that has been closed to visitors since March 1 to avoid disturbances to an area used by nesting peregrine falcons, officials said. He landed in an area below the popular Angel’s Landing trail that is known for California condor nesting.

“BASE jumping near nesting falcons and condors increases the chances of these parents being displaced or flushed from their nest or roost site which will increase the nest’s vulnerability to predators and could potentially result in nest failure,” Zion National Park biologist Janice Stroud-Settles said.

Miller also pleaded guilty in in 2011 to criminal trespassing after he parachuted off the towering headquarters building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, court records show.

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