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American Indian pictographs damaged



Posted by ErthAvengr to NDN AIM list

The Associated Press

January 24, 2003

BEND — Vandals have defaced about five American Indian pictographs painted in Dry Canyon east of Bend and destroyed a sixth, federal officials said.

Federal and state officials think the vandals did the damage in the past several weeks.

The culprits built a four-foot-wide fire pit that charred the sides and tops of a six-foot-tall rock. They used the charcoal from the fire to write “truth,” “light” and “healing” on the walls, as well as a Taoist yin-yang symbol.

Damaging a federal resource can be a felony crime if the damage exceeds $1,000, said Roger Crisofi, law enforcement ranger for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Officials will have a damage assessment completed by the end of the week, he said.

The pictographs — paintings left by American Indians to immortalize special occasions — offer a snapshot into the past, said Duran Bobb of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

No current tribe lays claim to the pictographs in the Badlands, said John Zancanella, a BLM archeologist.

Marci Todd, assistant field manager for the BLM, said officials are considering how they will clean up the damage and whether they will close access roads that lead to the canyon.

The canyon where the damage occurred sits in the heart of the Badlands Wilderness Study Area, a tract of about 17,000 acres managed by the BLM.

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