Miley Cyrus Slammed by Fans and Officials for Posing on Protected Joshua Trees

Miley Cyrus Slammed by Fans and Officials for Posing on Protected Joshua Trees
Miley Cyrus attends The Women's Cancer Research Fund's An Unforgettable Evening Benefit Gala, Beverly Hills, Calif., Feb. 28, 2019. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Miley Cyrus posted photos on Instagram of herself posing on the branch of a protected Joshua tree and received immediate backlash from people on social media.

The pop star posted two photos of herself in a floral onesie sitting in the Joshua tree, captioning the posts, “Looking down at all the petty drama like…” and “Monkey Bizzzzznassssss.”

Joshua trees are protected under California state law and are currently being reviewed for listing under the Endangered Species Act, according to the National Wildlife Federation.

View this post on Instagram

Monkey Bizzzzznassssss ????

A post shared by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

After Miley Cyrus posted her photos posing in Joshua trees, people took to the comments to express their criticism.

“Take down the Joshua tree photos! You’re encouraging behavior that will destroy a fragile ecosystem,” one person wrote, adding a sad face emoji.

Another wrote, “I was honestly shocked to find this out, because you inspire me to love and respect nature. There are so many rocks to climb, but the trees are so fragile. I still love you as a person, but posting these photos was just asking for people to judge and criticize. I still believe greatly in your efforts. A post doesn’t define your character.”

View this post on Instagram

Looking down at all the petty drama like…. ????

A post shared by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

“Please take down your photos of you hanging on an endangered and protected plant. Would also love a public apology that educates tourists on how to act on sacred land,” another person commented.

One person wrote, “It’s more than climbing a tree. You are telling your millions of followers it’s ok to climb Joshua trees. If they all went and did that all the trees would die. Re-evaluate your position here. You advocate for animals, but not protected trees?”

View this post on Instagram

The shade of it all….. ☂

A post shared by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

A spokesperson for Joshua Tree National Park, George Land, also addressed the issue. He told Desert Sun that they “would appreciate it that people would respect the fact that desert vegetation is a little bit fragile at times.”

He emphasized, “We don’t want to incite people to carry out some kind of threat against Miley Cyrus, or anybody else that would do that.”

“We would just remind her that she has a big following, people watch what she does, and it would be greatly appreciated by the Park Service and the people around the area if she would maybe curb that type of activity, especially posting it on her social media page,” he added.

Geary Hund, the executive director at the Mojave Desert Land Trust, said in a statement obtained by Desert Sun that any weight on Joshua trees could cause damage.

“We ask that Miley Cyrus consider her status as a public figure,” Hund wrote, “and remove this photo from her social media accounts in order to educate others and to prevent potential damage to Joshua trees.”

While Miley Cyrus has not yet publicly addressed the issue or taken the photos down, she has deactivated comments on both of the posts.

Most commonly found in the Mojave desert, Joshua trees are actually a type of succulent—a type of plant that stores water—according to the National Wildlife Federation.

Joshua trees take a long time to grow, needing a cold period before flowering. After blooming, Joshua trees are reliant on one moth for pollination—the genus Tegeticula. This type of moth is the only animal that can transfer the pollen from one flower to the next.

The plants have a long lifespan, with one tree in California that’s believed to be over 1,000 years old, according to the site. Joshua trees can grow between 15-40 feet and survive in elevations between 2,000-6,000 feet.

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.