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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Carson City District
 
Release Date: 03/13/14
Contacts: Kaitlin Godbey , 775-885-6107 , kgodbey@blm.gov
News Release No. CCDO 2014-025

BLM Offers $1,000 Reward for Information on Hidden Cave Vandalism


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the recent vandalism found at Hidden Cave.

Hidden Cave is an archaeological site east of Fallon, Nev. Thousands of artifacts have been discovered in the cave over the years and have provided important information about the inhabitants. Prehistoric human use of the cave ranges from about 800 to 5,000 years ago.

Graffiti was found on both the interior and exterior of Hidden Cave, along with bullet holes in the informational kiosk. Graffiti was also observed on several rocks on the trail leading to the cave. There was evidence of digging in the archaeological site as well as obvious damage to the interpretation signs, educational displays, and lighting in the cave. Those with information about the crime should call the BLM Crime Hotline phone number at: 1-800-521-6501.

“This is the first instance of modern vandalism to the sensitive archaeological resources within Hidden Cave,” said Jason Wright, Archaeologist for the BLM’s Stillwater Field Office. "Damage to America’s public heritage, culture, and history is a felony crime and most disrespectful.”

BLM Law Enforcement and Churchill County Sheriff's Office are actively investigating the crime. Current charges related to the vandalism of Hidden Cave include the Depredation of Government Property. Penalties associated with a conviction of this crime may lead to a fine and a term of imprisonment up to 10 years. Crimes associated with the Archaeological Resources Protection Act were also violated. Penalties associated with a conviction of this crime may lead to a fine of $2,000 and a term of imprisonment up to two years for first time offenders, and a fine of $100,000, and a term of imprisonment up to 5 years for second time offenders. The BLM and Churchill County Museum have temporarily suspended public tours of Hidden Cave until the investigation is complete.

A media tour of the damaged site will be offered tomorrow. The group will meet at the Hidden Cave parking area at 1 p.m. and the tour will last approximately two hours. While the area is close to parking, access will require a short hike over some rough terrain thus appropriate footwear is important for those joining the tour. BLM and Churchill County Museum officials will be available for interviews at that time.

For more information, contact Kaitlin Godbey, Public Affairs Specialist, BLM Carson City District Office, 775-885-6107, or kgodbey@blm.gov.

Graffiti photos at Hidden Cave:

Exterior graffiti at Hidden Cave     Exterior graffiti at Hidden Cave     Interior graffiti at Hidden Cave



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 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
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Carson City District   5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City, NV 89701  

Last updated: 03-13-2014