Reward offered in Capitol Reef vandalism

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CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK, Utah – Capitol Reef National Park is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the conviction of people who vandalized the popular Highway Petroglyph Site.

Rangers noticed the words “Dallas, TX,” “Ivan Dallas TX,” and “Henn/Hena” on July 19. The panel is along Highway 24 and easily accessible to visitors, park officials said.  The graffiti appears in the dark patina of a rock face next to prehistoric images known as the bear and coyote and on top of an image of a bighorn sheep.

Park officials said the Highway Petroglyph vandalism is the latest in a dramatic rise in the number of graffiti incidents at Capitol Reef, including in Capitol Gorge, Grand Wash, Hickman Bridge, and Cassidy Arch.

The rock art is believed to have been created by members of a Native American group known by archaeologists as the “Fremont Culture.”   According to archaeologists, the Fremont Culture inhabited the region from about 250 to 1275 C.E. (known as the “Common Era”).

Under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, acts of vandalism are punishable by up to 2 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.  If you have any information on the vandalism, contact the National Park Service at 435-425-4136 or call the Archaeological Resource Protection Act Hotline at 800-227-7286.

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