BLM Offers Reward in Petroglyph Vandalism
The United States Bureau of Land Management has offered a $500 reward for information leading to the prosecution of individuals vandalizing petro-glyphs in San Juan County.
The incident occurred between late December 2002 and Feb. 2, 2003, when a ranger discovered a damaged rock art panel on the San Juan River near Sand Island campground.
The vandals apparently used a stone to scratch designs and stick figures on a panel with petroglyphs dating from 3,000 B.C. to 1300 A.D.
"This vandalism is of great concern to us," noted BLM Monti-cello field office manager, Patrick Madigan. "With so many cultural relics in the area, it is impossible for us to patrol them all the time. We have to rely on the public to report unusual behavior and to respect the artifacts."
Vandalizing or removing artifacts from public lands can result in federal criminal charges and felony level convictions can lead to stiff penalities.
But prosecuting vandalism cases involving artifacts and cultural relics can be difficult due to limited evidence.
"By offering this reward, we hope we can get some tips to lead us in the right direction," stated Utah BLM law enforcement director Keith Aller.
"We would like areas with rock art to be open to the public for years to come. However, vandalism makes it so future visitors will not see artifacts in an undisturbed state. We want everyone to be able to enjoy the unique sites and we need the public's help," added the law enforcement director.
Carbon residents with information about the vandalism are encouraged to contact the BLM toll-free at 1-800-722-3998.
Reporting parties will remain anonymous, concluded the BLM.