Do Not Write on the Rocks: It is Illegal

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Date: August 10, 2016
Contact: Scott Brown, (435) 425- 4130

A dramatic rise in the number of graffiti incidents is occurring in areas throughout the park including in Capitol Gorge, Grand Wash, Hickman Bridge, Cassidy Arch Trail and most recently at the Highway Petroglyph Site. The Highway Petroglyph Site is one of the premier visitor highlights within the park and is visited by thousands of people every year. This site is located along Highway 24 and is easily accessible to park visitors wanting to view and experience these irreplaceable Native American writings known as petroglyphs. Modern pueblo groups call these people Hisatsinom, people of long ago. To the Paiute Tribe, they are known as the Nengwoots, the People Who Lived the Old Ways. They inhabited the Capitol Reef area from about 250 to 1275 C.E. (Common Era). Archeologists named them the Fremont Culture for the Fremont River where they were first studied. A panel at the Highway Petroglyph Site in the park was defaced with the words "Ivan Dallas TX", "Henn/Hena", and "DALLAS TX". The writing appears in the dark patina next to the prehistoric images known as the bear and coyote and on top of a bighorn sheep image. Leah McGinnis, Park Superintendent stated that "Restoring these archeological sites and geologic features after deliberate vandalism is a complex, difficult process, and not always possible. Once damage occurs at these remarkable works of art they can never be fully repaired."

Under the Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA), these acts of vandalism are illegal and are punishable by up to 2 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. Help us spread the word and let others know that these activities are illegal. Anyone with information concerning the vandalism at the Highway Petroglyph Site or other areas within the park should immediately contact the National Park Service at 435-425- 4135, or the Archeological Resource Protection Act Hotline at 800-227- 7286. 

Last updated: August 15, 2016

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