Vandals defaced petroglyphs on a boulder known as Birthing Rock along Kane Creek road outside Moab overnight, scratching “White Power” and obscenities over the 1,000-year-old carvings.
The Bureau of Land Management has stationed a ranger at the rock to prevent further damage while staff works on a restoration plan with professional conservators.
“The BLM strongly condemns vandalism of cultural resources and is working with professional conservators to remove the offensive graffiti,” a statement released by the Canyon Country District office reads.
In the statement, the BLM announced a $10,000 reward for “information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the vandalism” and urged those with tips to call 800-722-3998.
The vandalism of an Indigenous rock art panel comes just weeks after the high-profile damage to petroglyphs on the Sunshine Wall north of Arches National Park. In that case, a rock climber from Colorado drilled climbing bolts just inches away from petroglyphs; the climber later apologized and said he thought the ancient carvings were more recent graffiti.
Under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, vandals can face fines of up to $20,000 and one year in prison.
This is a developing story and more information will be added as it is released.