Saturday, October 18, 2014


The Pregnant-buffalo petroglyph, Nine-Mile
Canyon, Carbon County, UT. From Ogden
Standard-Examiner, July 29, 2014.

A recent case of rock art vandalism has been settled with a fine, and (hopefully) a lesson learned. According to the Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner (July 29, 2014), the families of two juveniles responsible for defacing a rock art panel in Nine-Mile Canyon have agreed to pay $1,500 for the damage. 

"In May, Bureau of Land Management Utah Price Field Office law enforcement officers and archaeological staff investigated citizen-reported damage to the Nine Mile Canyon Pregnant Buffalo rock art panel in Carbon County." 

A local property owner had reportedly visited the site on May 25, 2014, and found the initials J.M.N. and the date scratched into the rock near the image, and saw two individuals hurrying from the site.

The vandalism found at the site. From the 
Ogden Standard-Examiner, July 29, 2014.

"One of the youths stated that he was sorry for his thoughtless actions and hoped that others would learn from his mistake. "I hope people try to think about the consequences and the effect their actions have on history," he said."

"Cultural resources like rock art are protected under various federal laws and regulations, including the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA). In ARPA, Congress affirmed that cultural and archaeological resources are an irreplaceable part of America's heritage and must be protected. As a result, ARPA prohibits the unauthorized damage to, or excavation and removal, of archaeological resources on federal lands. ARPA also prohibits the unlawful sale, purchase, or exchange of archaeological resources. ARPA violations may result in criminal prosecution or civil penalties based on the cost of restoration and repair."

RockArtBlog applauds the public and officers involved in solving the case of vandalism, and the Ogden Standard-Examiner for bringing it to the public's attention. If education truly is the answer perhaps this case has had some positive outcome. I think that they got off fairly lightly, but I am confident that they will remember the lesson. Hopefully others will also.


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