Family pays damages for youth’s rock-art vandalism

PRICE – In May 2014, 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.  The investigation revealed that over the Memorial Day weekend two juveniles from the Salt Lake City area had carved their initials and the date into the rock face near the panel.

After careful examination and analysis, the BLM assessed the damage and identified specific mitigation measures, according to a statement the BLM released Monday.  BLM archaeologists estimated that restoration and repair efforts would cost approximately $1,500.

A BLM law enforcement officer met with the youths and their family to discuss the seriousness of the incident, the BLM’s statement said.  The family agreed to pay $1,500, which will be used to mitigate the damage caused by the juveniles in what the BLM called “thoughtless vandalism.”

One of the youths stated that he was sorry for his thoughtless actions and hoped that others would learn from his mistake, according to the BLM statement.

“I hope people try to think about the consequences and the effect their actions have on history,” the youth said, according to the BLM.

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

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  • SSfreeze July 30, 2014 at 6:55 am

    Little Mo’s on vacation, now Mommy and Daddy will make it all go away like it never happened.

    • Mormon Hero July 31, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      Mormon kids. Of course mormons don’t see any problem with their destructive ways.

  • Rachel July 30, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Now, I’m not advocating vandalism here, but it seems to me that carving a date and name into rock adds to the history. Should they have done it? Probably not. But there are other examples of rock art that has more current (yet ancient) rock art on top or on the same rock.

    • Bender July 30, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      You sound like one of the Cliven Bundy clan Rachel – “Can’t see no use fer them laws, I do as I please.”

    • Dana July 30, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      Take your meds.

    • bob August 1, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      whaaaaaaaaaaaaattttttttttttttttttttttt in the …* was RACHEL trying to say??? either drunk or on drugs I suspect…
      Ed. ellipsis: …*

  • sing4money July 30, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    What a little Mo? And yeah….we try to help our kids to learn from their mistakes. What do you suggest, beating him?

  • Jaran July 30, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Good thing it wasn’t medical or it would have cost the family $2million

  • choppedliver July 30, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    C’mon we all know the Lamanites were troublemakers, that petroglyph was nothing more than a taunting tatanka, meant to infuriated the Nephites.

    • Bender July 31, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      Typical Anti-Buffulo-Nephi-Lehies.

  • choppedliver July 30, 2014 at 8:43 pm


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