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Rock Art Vandalized in Big Bend

Publish Date: January 4, 2022
Contact Name: Phillip Imler
Contact Number: GANP Contact Page

The National Park Service (NPS) disclosed that vacationers to Big Bend National Park vandalized historic rock carvings over the Christmas holidays.  These vandals scratched names and dates over the carvings which are believed to be around 3,000 years old.

Sadly, these historic geometric designs had existed for thousands of years without being defamed until now.  According to the authorities at the NPS, this history is now irreparably damaged.

Scrooge did not get what he wanted on Christmas and took it out on December 26th defiling this historic rock art.  The lack of character leaves the NPS and conservation community bewildered wondering what would lead someone to defame history in this manner.

The rock art is located in the Indian Head part of the national park.  The area stretches 118 miles along the border of Mexico and the United States and covers an area of 800,000 acres.

Park Vandalism

Unfortunately, vandalism is a common occurrence around the world.  Sometimes the defiling of history and nature occurs at the hands of war and terrorism, however, too often it is at the hands of vandals who have nothing better to do.  Graffiti is the most frequent way that vandalism occurs.

In the United States alone, there have been over 50 incidences of vandalism since 2015.  With over 3,000 national parks around the world, it is imperative that the global community hold one another accountable.  Visitors need to discourage fellow travelers from defacing things when it is much better to capture the moment with photography.

Removing graffiti presents a tremendous challenge from not causing further or different damage.  It requires specialized restoration experts and can be costly to the park service.  36 CFR of the Federal Regulations makes damaging or defacing park resources as illegal.  Furthermore, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act provides additional protection for rock art and ancient cultural sites.

Reporting Vandalism

Visitors who witness other travelers defacing or vandalizing natural or cultural facets of the national park system are invited to contact park authorities.  If you have information regarding the defacing of the rock art in Big Bend National Park, you may contact authorities by calling the Communication Center at 432-477-1187.