Vandals Destroy Ancient Rock Art At Big Bend National Park
This kind of thing angers me to no end, what kind of self-centered jack-ass ruins artwork, on purpose! Big Bend National Park is one of my many "bucket-list" destinations and I'm actually hoping to make that trip this year. Thanks to vandals, some ancient petroglyphs have been ruined for us all, and the park authorities are asking for our help in tracking these jerks down.
Back on December 26th, ancient petroglyphs in the Indian Head area of Big Bend National Park were destroyed when vandals chose to boldly scratch their names and the date across the prehistoric art. Park managers have seen an increase in vandalism and graffiti in the area, and ask anyone with information about these incidents, or the persons involved, to contact the law enforcement staff of Big Bend National Park.
Our National Parks are treasured lands and protect our national heritage. Graffiti is vandalism, it is costly to repair when it can be repaired, in this case, it cannot be fixed. Graffiti is also illegal. Damage to park resources is a Federal Offense, a violation of 36 Code of Federal Regulations. Rock art along with ancient cultural sites are protected under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act as well.
Big Bend National Park belongs to all of us. Damaging natural features and rock art destroys the very beauty and history that the American people want to protect in our parks," said Big Bend National Park Superintendent Bob Krumenaker. “With each instance of vandalism, part of our Nation's heritage is lost forever."
Park archeologists have documented over fifty instances of vandalism since 2015 to these priceless sites. If you discover vandalized rock art, please don’t attempt to clean it yourself. Take pictures, report it to park personnel and trained staff will attempt to mitigate the damage as quickly as possible, using highly specialized techniques. The staff at Big Bend have already done what they could at Indian Head, but most of the damage is, unfortunately, permanent.
Anyone with information about these incidents, or the persons involved, please contact the Big Bend National Park Communication Center at 432-477-1187.