Van­dals sab­o­tage sites in Mesa Verde

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Kieran Ni­chol­son Photo cour­tesy of Mesa Verde Na­tional Park

Re­cent and in­creas­ing acts of graf­fiti, van­dal­ism and even “in­ten­tional lit­ter­ing” are mar­ring Mesa Verde Na­tional Park, and of­fi­cials are urg­ing park vis­i­tors to help in re­vers­ing the dis­turb­ing trend.

An ex­am­ple of the de­struc­tive acts in the south­west­ern Colorado park in­cludes names be­ing rubbed into sand­stone with “pre­his­toric char­coal,” which the van­dal dug up at an ar­chae­o­log­i­cal site along Pet­ro­glyph Point Trail, park of­fi­cials said on Face­book.

“Not only did … these in­di­vid­u­als van­dal­ize the cliff side, they de­stroyed ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ar­ti­facts to do so,” of­fi­cials said in the post.

Such acts are in di­rect con­flict with the mis­sion of the park: to pre­serve unim­paired the nat­u­ral and cul­tural re­sources of the his­toric area.

Park of­fi­cials asked vis­i­tors to be aware of de­struc­tive acts and re­port such ac­tiv­i­ties to a park ranger as soon as pos­si­ble. They also called on vis­i­tors to act re­spon­si­bly and re­frain from sab­o­tage. “Please help us in this ef­fort and re­frain from cre­at­ing graf­fiti, in­ten­tion­ally lit­ter­ing, caus­ing dam­age to or oth­er­wise dis­turb­ing the land­scape in all Na­tional Parks,” the re­lease said. “Let us all leave no trace, ed­u­cate oth­ers about proper stew­ard­ship of pub­lic lands, and en­joy these won­der­ful land­scapes as they are.”

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