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Front Page » August 12, 2004 » Local News » Conservation specialist restores rock art panel
Published 3,672 days ago

Conservation specialist restores rock art panel


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate community editor


Conservation specialist Constance Silvers focuses on removing graffiti at the Buckhorn Wash Panel last weekend. The original mess became worse when an unidentified and untrained individual attempted to clean the panel. The restoration has been completed. According to local residents and officials who have seen the panel, the repairs are not noticeable.

Brought to the local area by the United States Bureau of Land Management to restore the Buckhorn Wash panel, a specialist in conserving rock art ended cleaning up the mess created by an unauthorized attempt to remove the chalk drawings at the site.

In mid-July, BLM officials discovered that an unidentified subject or subjects had drawn a character on the panel with the word "Wendy" inscribed under the drawing.

The federal agency promptly contacted Constance Silvers, an art conservator who renovated the panel several years ago, to repair the damage. The officials arranged to have the rock art specialist flown into the Carbon-Emery County area last Friday.

But the task was complicated when someone purportedly tried to clean the chalk off the panel, first by apparently scrubbing the surface and then by using mud from the surrounding area to try to replicate the color.

Silvers, who works with Presevar Inc., was trained in fine art conservation in Italy, where she obtained a master's degree. The conservation specialist earned a second master's degree from Columbia University in historic architecture and is one of the foremost experts in the field of rock art conservation.

Silvers was able to make the repairs and, while at the panel, completed touch ups on the areas that had been restored before at the Buckhorn Wash site. Restoration frequently requires maintenance after the passage of several years.

Silvers was accompanied to the Buckhorn panel by Julie Howard from the state office of the BLM.

A $1,000 reward offered by the BLM and Emery County for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the graffiti.

In an unrelated matter, the Price BLM field office reminded Carbon County residents that public meetings for the draft resource management plan and environmental impact statement on the West Tavaputs Plateau drilling program will be conducted in the local area.

"We just want to be sure we have as much input on this from citizens as possible," pointed out Ruth McCoard, public affairs manager at the Price field office. "That means citizens coming to the meetings and telling us their thoughts."

The availability of the federal agency's draft resource management plan and draft environmental impact statement for the Carbon-Emery area was made available to the public in the middle of July. The draft RMP/EIS document is still available for review on the BLM's website. Castle Valley residents with internet access may visit the federal agency's website at http;//www.ut.blm.gov/westtavaputs.

More than two and one-half years in the making, the finalized plan will serve as the federal agency's guideline on managing natural resources, activities and uses on more than 2.5 million acres of public lands in the Castle Valley during the next 15 to 20 years.

The Price land use plan is the first of seven draft proposals that will be released during the next few years as a part of a statewide revision initiative, according to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The draft resource management plan and draft environmental impact statement are currently undergoing a 90-day public input period. Carbon and Emery County residents may submit comments until Oct. 15.

At the upcoming meetings, the BLM intends to give an overview of the documents, respond to questions and accept public comments, according to the federal agency representatives at the Price field office. Scheduled to run from 4 to 9 p.m., the meeting will be conducted:

•Aug. 26 in Price at the Holiday Inn.

•Aug. 24 in Castle Dale at the Museum of the San Rafael.

•Aug. 25 in Green River at the John Wesley Powell museum.

Once the public comments are considered, a proposed resource management plan/final environmental impact statement will be issued for review prior to the federal agency's signing a record of decision, pointed out the BLM officials.

"Future management of places like the Book Cliffs, the San Rafael Swell and Nine Mile Canyon will be determined in this plan," explained Price BLM field office manager Patrick Gubbins. "We need the public's comments to assist us in finalizing the alternatives and confirming accuracy of the document."



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