petroglyph theft eastside


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Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Dec 13, 2012 - 12:22pm PT
I finally had a chance to catch up with this - initially there was no paypal link but now it's very easy to donate with separate account buttons for each of the four objectives.


Trad climber
Dec 13, 2012 - 02:55pm PT
Credit: internet
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Dec 15, 2012 - 05:01pm PT
I added this to the SuperTopo Facebook page to raise awareness

Bishop, CA
Dec 15, 2012 - 07:58pm PT
Visited the site a few weeks ago. It's a well-known, easily accessible, part of the Tablelands petroglyph loop (in a lot of glyph guidebooks) and visible from highway 6. Not near any climbing areas. So it wouldn't necessarily have to be a "local" to know about it. I'm no expert, but it didn't look like a pro job. Looks like they cut with saw where they could then crowbarred the pieces out. Really sloppy. The area, like the other well-known sites along the road, has seen a lot of damage with a lot of stupid people trying their own hand at carving in the rock. That all said, keep the ones you know about secret. The Tablelands is a sacred place.

Big Wall climber
The Frayed End of Insanity
Dec 15, 2012 - 08:07pm PT
Really sad.
Compounding the tragedy is how insignificant any punishment would be...


Way out there....
Dec 16, 2012 - 01:35am PT
Thanks Chris!

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Jan 31, 2013 - 05:04pm PT
The goods have been recovered.

Petroglyph panels cut and chiseled off an eastern Sierra rock art site sacred to Native Americans have been recovered by federal investigators, U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials announced Thursday.

The suspected thieves have not been identified and the investigation is continuing into one of the worst acts of vandalism ever committed on the 750,000 acres of public land managed by the BLM field office in Bishop.

“Now, the healing can begin,” BLM Field Office Manager Bernadette Lovato said in an interview. “Recovery was a priority for me, and the public outrage intensified the need for them to be returned.”

Lovato declined to disclose details about the discovery, except to say, “We found all five panels by following an anonymous tip sent to us in a letter.”

“The panels are currently being held as evidence,” she said. “After a prosecution, perhaps they may eventually be put on public display somehow, but that will be up to Paiute-Shoshone tribal leaders.”

“I feels real good to have them come back home,” Paiute tribal historic preservation officer Raymond Andrews said in an interview.

Investigators believe the vandals used ladders, chisels, electric generators and power saws to remove the panels from cliffs in an arid high-desert region known as Volcanic Tablelands, about 15 miles north of Bishop. The thieves gouged holes in the rock and sheared off slabs that were up to 15 feet above ground and two feet high and wide.
The desecration was reported to the BLM on Oct. 31 by visitors to the area held sacred by Native Americans whose ancestors carved hundreds of lava boulders and cliffs with spiritual renderings: concentric circles, deer, rattlesnakes, bighorn sheep and hunters with bows and arrows.

The site, which is still used by the local Pauite for ceremonies, is protected under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Authorities said the petroglyphs were not worth a great a deal on the illicit market, probably $500 to $1,500 each.

But they are priceless to Native Americans, who regard the massive tableaux as a window into the souls of their ancestors.

There is a $9,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves. Damaging or removing the petroglyphs is a felony. First-time offenders can be imprisoned for up to one year and fined as much as $20,000, authorities said.

Second-time offenders can be fined up to $100,000 and imprisoned up to five years.

Anybody with information about the theft is asked to contact the BLM at (760) 937-0301 or (760) 937-0657.

The Granite State.
Jan 31, 2013 - 05:06pm PT
Good news!

Trad climber
Nevada City, CA
Jan 31, 2013 - 05:08pm PT
Great news of a very bad deed.

Jan 31, 2013 - 05:20pm PT
Great news that they recovered them, divorcing material like they did is a terrible thing though and can never be undone. These asswipes should be beat with sticks by all the folks they offended....

Let the beatings commence....
ron gomez

Trad climber
Jan 31, 2013 - 06:17pm PT
Hopefully the criminals will be prosecuted and dealt with appropriately. Can't repair the damage and to those that these lands are sacred, hope there can be some healing now.

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 31, 2013 - 07:27pm PT
Good news!


Trad climber
Jan 31, 2013 - 07:47pm PT
Completely off topic, but did you know there are 1 million black men in prison right now? And that 80% of the black male workforce in Chicago have been in prison at some time in their lives (p 189). I happen to be reading a book right now - between Taco views - that draws out an ugly picture of US "criminal justice" system. "The New Jim Crow", important book.

But why do I write this here? Well, I'm appalled at the vandalism, but it strikes me as sad that the climbing community gets so twisted up over some rocks (albeit sacred rocks) but ignores much more important problems in the country. It wouldn't be too much to call it collective evil (talking about our country generally here, not picking on my climbing buds. ha) , IMHO. There are crimes of commission, and other crimes of omission - or turning a blind eye. We're all guilty.

OK, off my soap box. Carry on and flame away .... :)

(and I bet those rocks would fetch way more than $1500.)

Jan 31, 2013 - 08:28pm PT
Rad, I'm glad they recovered these, pretty amazing! Now I hope the guys responsible will get the maximum penalty, which sadly isn't that big compared to the damage done!


Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Feb 2, 2013 - 07:58pm PT
Looking forward to more news on this!

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
Feb 2, 2013 - 08:14pm PT
Good catch! Glad the artifacts are recovered. Hope the perpetrators don't repeat the crime again.

Feb 2, 2013 - 08:24pm PT
Yes...beat the f*#kers.

The Granite State.
Feb 4, 2013 - 05:44pm PT
There is a piece on this on All Things Considered today. Glad to see that it's getting national attention.

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 4, 2013 - 05:56pm PT
Damaging or removing the petroglyphs is a felony. First-time offenders can be imprisoned for up to one year and fined as much as $20,000, authorities said.

Second-time offenders can be fined up to $100,000 and imprisoned up to five years.

So can the theft of five panels be construed as first, second, third, fourth and fifth offenses? These jerks need to have the book thrown at them. One year and a fine of less than the cost of most cars??

(and I bet those rocks would fetch way more than $1500.)

Probably, but devaluing them makes them less attractive to thieves.

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Feb 4, 2013 - 06:00pm PT
Now, those marks on Dino Rock in Carson City are they petroglyphs now, or we need to wait till Ron is dead ;)
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