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Pierce Brosnan issues apology after pleading guilty to hiking into a restricted area of Yellowstone National Park

Pierce Brosnan speaks onstage at the 18th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards held at Bad Robot on March 7, 2024 © Variety
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
Los Angeles correspondentLos Angeles
Updated: March 14, 2024
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Pierce Brosnan has pleaded guilty to hiking into a restricted and hazardous thermal area in Yellowstone National Park. The 70-year-old actor initially pled not guilty but has now changed his plea which was accepted by a judge who ordered him to pay over $1,500 (£1,175) for the offense. 

The payment will go to a non-profit tasked with preserving the park. 

Pierce Brosnan attends the Los Angeles Premiere Of Netflix's "The Out-Laws" at Regal LA Live on June 26, 2023 in Los Angeles, California© Getty Images
Pierce Brosnan was found guilty

"As an environmentalist I have the utmost respect for and love of our natural world," Pierce shared in a statement on social media. "However, I made an impulsive mistake - one that I do not take lightly - when entering a thermal area covered in snow in Yellowstone National Park to take a photograph. 

"I did not see a “No Trespassing” sign posted that warned of danger nor did I hike in the immediate area. I deeply regret my transgression and offer my heartfelt apologies to all for trespassing in this sensitive area. Yellowstone and all our National Parks are to be cared for and preserved for all to enjoy. #StayOnThePath."

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On Thursday March 14, the James Bond actor admitted to violating federal regulations that ban foot traffic near the Mammoth Terraces hot springs. According to a criminal docket filed in the U.S. District Court in Wyoming, the father-of-two received citations for traveling by foot "in all thermal areas and w/in Yellowstone Canyon confined to trails," and "violating closures and use limits" on November 1, 2022. 

The National Park was established in 1872 in order to protect the more than 10,000 unique geothermal features; there are more than 500 geysers. There are a series of rules around the thermal areas that all visitors must follow including: "Do not travel through thermal areas after dark; Stock are not permitted in thermal areas; Altering or putting objects in thermal features is prohibited; and swimming, soaking or bathing in water that are entirely of thermal origin is prohibited."

One of the main rules of the park is that guests may "always walk on boardwalks or designated trails".

Pierce Brosnan stepped out in Malibu after pleading not guilty to trespassing charges© AKGS
Pierce apologized for the decision

"Almost all of Yellowstone’s geothermal features are surrounded by a thin crust. While this might look like solid ground, it is not!" the website states. 

"The same extremely hot water that gushes through geysers and bubbles up in fumaroles is just under the surface. If you step off the boardwalk and onto the crust, not only are you disrupting the delicate thermal formation, but you will be seriously or fatally injured. Just because you see wildlife walking around geysers doesn’t mean you can." 

Pierce is believed to have been in the area as he has been filming a new movie with Samuel L. Jackson, a western called The Unholy Trinity which is filming at Yellowstone Film Ranch in Paradise Valley. 

In the movie Pierce plays a man who sends his estranged son (played by Brandon Lessard) to kill the man who framed him for a crime he didn't commit.

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