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Family of young vandals pays to fix Nine Mile Canyon art panel

Published July 29, 2014 4:25 pm

Initials, date were carved into art panel near Pregnant Buffalo petroglyph in Nine Mile Canyon.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The family of two juveniles from Salt Lake City has agreed to pay $1,500 to mitigate the damage caused when the youth carved initials and the date on the Pregnant Buffalo rock art panel in Nine Mile Canyon.

Bureau of Land Management officials assessed the damage caused by the vandalism and estimated a cost of about $1,500 to restore and repair the panel. The unidentified family agreed to pay for the work.

"I hope people try to think about the consequences and the effect their actions have on history," one of the juveniles told the BLM, according to a release Monday. It did not mention charges, but said the case was resolved.

One youth confessed to a local landowner, which led the BLM to the young vandals in Salt Lake City.

The letters "JMN" were etched into rock near an image of a pregnant bison along with the date 5/25/14.

Nine Mile Canyon, which is actually more than 40 miles long, has been a popular destination for people drawn to its concentration of ancient art, estimated to be in excess of 10,000 images pecked and painted into rock. But it has seen heavier use since its dirt surface was hardened to accommodate industrial traffic associated with oil and gas development on the West Tavaputs Plateau.

Preservationists fear vandalism and looting could rise as more people drive through the canyon. To protect these resources and help the public appreciate them, they say, BLM must maintain a stronger presence in the canyon, with both staff and interpretive facilities.

brettp@sltrib.com

Twitter: @BrettPrettyman