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Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

BLM seeks vandals who spray-painted, shot targets near Lake Mountain rock art

By Amy Joi O'Donoghue, Deseret News

Published: Thu, Aug. 14 11:10 a.m. MDT

 The Bureau of Land Management is offering up to $500 for information leading to the arrest/conviction of vandals responsible for defacing this rock near rock art thousands of years old. The vandalism happened July 25-31, 2014 at Lake Mountain in Utah County.

The Bureau of Land Management is offering up to $500 for information leading to the arrest/conviction of vandals responsible for defacing this rock near rock art thousands of years old. The vandalism happened July 25-31, 2014 at Lake Mountain in Utah County.

(Bureau of Land Management)

SALT LAKE CITY —Vandals spray-painted more than a dozen silhouette targets on rocks near Native American rock art at Utah County's Lake Mountain and then engaged in practice shooting with a large-caliber firearm.

The Bureau of Land Management's Salt Lake Field Office is offering a reward of up to $500 for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of those involved in the incident, which happened in the Lake Mountains area west of Utah Lake.

Authorities believe the vandalism happened sometime between July 25-31 in an area popular for target shooting. The damage occurred near art sites estimated to be several thousands of years old.

The BLM said similar vandalism happened in 2011, prompting the federal agency to go to great lengths to remove the paint to prevent any more damage to the rock art.

Native American rock art sites are protected under federal law by the Archaeological Resource Protection Act of 1976. Violators causing damage to cultural resources on federal lands can face severe penalties including fines and jail time.

In May, a vandal etched initials and a date into the dark patina next to the prehistoric image known as the Pregnant Buffalo on a rock panel in Nine Mile Canyon.

An investigation subsequently revealed that two youths from the Salt Lake City area were responsible for the Memorial Day weekend incident. A payment from the vandals for $1,500 helped to mitigate the damage, according to the BLM.

Anyone with information on this latest incident should call BLM ranger Randy Griffin at 801-977-4314.

Email: amyjoi@deseretnews.com

Twitter: amyjoi16

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1. Mountanman
Hayden, ID,
Aug. 14, 2014

As a hunter and shooting enthusiast, I am deeply saddened by this action by slobs with guns! I hope they get caught and punished to the fullest extent of the law! Shame on them!

2. Jared
NotInMiami, FL,
Aug. 14, 2014

Isn't the rock art just vandalism too? Granted, it's really old but it's still basically graffiti.

/I'm not condoning the vandalism, I'm just pointing out the irony of this situation.

3. Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT,
Aug. 14, 2014

Utah County shooters: This is just more democratic controlled government taking away your freedoms.

4. No One Of Consequence
West Jordan, UT,
Aug. 14, 2014

How close to ancient rock art? Inches? Feet? Miles? It would enhance the story to know.

5. Anti Government
Alpine, UT,
Aug. 14, 2014

Well, we all know the paint can be removed from the rock...and they didn't actually damage the old art.

Sure they shouldn't have done it does it really warrant even a news story like this? I guess the answer is yes since it was done on Federal Land.

People can spray graffiti all over the city causing far more monetary damage and nothing much is done about.

Fascinating what people get in a tizzy over.