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Yuma Field Office
Release Date: 04/09/13
Contacts: Lori Cook – 928-317-3243 or 928-246-8560    

Archaeological Site Damaged

Yuma, Ariz. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Colorado River District Yuma Field Office is investigating the vandalism of an archaeological site north of Blythe, California. The site is rich in Native American petroglyphs and was recently vandalized with blue spray paint. Some of the more identifiable spray paint images include a horse or unicorn head, several smiley faces, and what appears to be a marijuana leaf. The words, “Sosa”, “B-n-C” and the numbers “625” were also spray-painted in the site. 

Many archaeological remains left by prehistoric peoples are visible at the site, but the most predominant are the petroglyphs. Petroglyphs are designs or figures which have been pecked or scratched into rock surfaces. Other features at the site include sleeping circles, geoglyphs, and rock alignments. Petroglyphs are important to Native Americans today just as they were hundreds of years ago. Altering archaeological sites can be offensive to contemporary tribal members who still visit these places as their ancestors did. The cost to the government to restore the site is expected to be several thousand dollars.

A law enforcement investigation has been initiated to identify any possible suspects. A reward of up to $1,000 is offered for information leading to an arrest. If anyone has information regarding this vandalism, please contact the BLM Law Enforcement Office at 928-317-3274.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands.

Last updated: 04-10-2013