Miley Cyrus has shared photos from her latest shoot in the Nevada desert and while it has been attracting numerous likes on social media, environmental agencies are less than impressed.
In one photo Cyrus can be seen perched in a tree, looking down toward the camera. The caption is an almost prophetic, “Looking down at the petty drama like…” because it is this photo that has landed Cyrus in hot water.
The tree she is sitting in is colloquially known as a Joshua Tree, and it only grows in that part of the world. It takes 60 years to mature and can live to 500, but recently a number of these extremely rare trees have been damaged by tourists climbing them, hanging on them, or even doing yoga against them.
Unlike other trees, the trunk is made up of fine fibres rather than solid wood and it has an extremely shallow root structure.
“Repeated abuse by tourists (over three million visitors a year), is slowly causing their demise … Its top-heavy weight is a recipe for disaster due to its shallow roots,” said one commenter.
According to local community paper the Desert Sun, what Cyrus did also violates the law.
“According to national park service rules, off-roading violations related to wildlife, plants, and natural or cultural features, carry a maximum penalty of $5,000 and/or six months in prison.”
Susan Burnett, who manages Mojave Sands hotel in downtown Joshua Tree, told the Desert Sun: “I admire Miley Cyrus so much but, as a community, the people of Joshua Tree have tried so hard to educate the general public about the desert and Joshua trees specifically, and this just feels like a monumental setback. There is no way to erase the idea her image presents that climbing these endangered plants is cool. I’m counting on her to help make this right and use her platform to help us preserve these ancient beauties.”