Las Vegas – Three prehistoric rock art panels were vandalized with graffiti recently at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Both pictographs (paintings and drawings on rocks), and petroglyphs (drawings scraped and ground onto the surface of the rock) were severely damaged.
The damaged rock art panels vary in size from three feet by six feet to eight feet by nine feet. Several panels were completely covered with maroon spray paint.
A $2,500 reward is offered by the Friends of Red Rock Canyon and Conservation Lands Foundation to those who provide information that leads to the conviction of the suspect(s.) Those with information about the crime should call (702) 515-5151, tips can remain anonymous.
Restoration of the site is estimated to cost approximately $10,000. Tax deductible donations for the reward and/or restoration funds may be made at www.friendsofredrockcanyon.org or by emailing email@example.com
“This is the most severe damage to archeological resources we’ve seen in Red Rock for several years,” said Mark Boatwright, Archeologist for the BLM’s Red Rock/Sloan Field Office. “Our hope is that the reward will increase the chance of conviction for this felony crime.”
“This act of vandalism has angered not only hundreds of Friends members but has also insulted the memory of the Native Americans who inhabited the area in the past,” said Mark Beauchamp, President of Friends of Red Rock Canyon. “Defacing their ancient art is the equivalent of destroying our heritage and history.
BLM Law Enforcement is actively investigating the crime. A conviction for violating the Archaeological Resources Protection Act may lead to a fine of up to $100,000 and five years in jail.
A media tour of the damaged site will be offered tomorrow. The group will meet at the Red Rock Visitor Center at 1 p.m. and the tour will last approximately two hours. While the area is close to parking, access will require a short hike over some rough terrain thus appropriate footwear is important for those joining the tour. A BLM Law Enforcement Ranger, archeologist as well as a member of Friends of Red Rock Canyon will be available for interviews at that time.
The BLM manages more land - more than 245 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.