Rochester Panel Vandalism Under Investigation

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Photos courtesy of Joe Mitchell

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reported that the vandalism that occurred at the Rochester Panel, located within the San Rafael Swell, was discovered on June 9 by a University of Utah student. The student reported the vandalism to the BLM and it is currently under investigation by BLM law enforcement.

BLM Public Affairs Specialist Lisa McNee stated that the Price Field Office is working with the State Historic Preservation Offices to clean up the site.

“Vandalism and graffiti are not only illegal, but erase the important stories of the indigenous people who came before us and are important to the spiritual and cultural lives of living indigenous communities,” McNee stated.

She continued by explaining that restoring sites after deliberate vandalism is a difficult and complex process, and one that is not always possible. McNee stated that thoughtless actions such as these impact the ability to enjoy and learn from cultural and natural resources. She encourages all that find graffiti or vandalism to never attempt to clean or remove it personally as it could cause further damage.

Rather, those that discover vandalism are urged to report it to local authorities as soon as possible. Those that have any information concerning the Rochester Panel vandalism should contact the BLM Law Enforcement at (435) 259-2131 or (800) 722-3998. Those that phone in may choose to remain anonymous.

“It is up to us to protect public lands for future generations to learn from and enjoy,” said McNee. “The BLM encourages everyone who visits public lands to practice Leave No Trace principles and visit with respect.”

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